IMF, Citibank Cyber Attacks Highlight Exposure

The New York Times, among others, reports that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been hit by a large and sophisticated cyber attack.

News of the breach at the IMF comes  just days after it emerged  that a hacker attack at Citibank in May exposed customer account names, numbers and contact information of approximately 1 percent of Citibank’s 21 million users.  Ã‚  

According to the NYT, concern about the attack at the IMF was so significant that the World Bank cut the computer link that allows the two institutions to share information.

The NYT says:

Because the fund has been at the center of economic bailout programs for Portugal, Greece and Ireland — and possesses sensitive data on other countries that may be on the brink of crisis — its database contains potentially market-moving information. It also includes communications with national leaders as they negotiate, often behind the scenes, on the terms of international bailouts. Those agreements are, in the words of one fund official, “political dynamite in many countries.† It was unclear what information the attackers were able to access.”

In its recently published Global Risks Report 2011, the World Economic Forum (WEF) identified cyber-security as one of the top five risks to watch.

Businesses face a potentially enormous liability when a data breach occurs. An article by Rodd Zolkos at  Business Insurance notes that increasing legislation and regulation at the Federal and state levels related to data breaches is contributing to higher success rates  for cyber plaintiffs in court and  rising potential  costs for companies.

Specialized cyber risk insurance is critical to protect businesses from the growing  threat of cyber attacks, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

Check out  further  I.I.I. facts and stats on  identity theft.

One thought on “IMF, Citibank Cyber Attacks Highlight Exposure”

  1. Cavalcade of Risk #134 now up

    Julie Ferguson presents this week’s epic collection of risk-related posts:

    Please tell your readers.

    And a friendly reminder to newbies and regulars alike that, while it’s not mandatory to give a link back, it’s the way that carnivals work best. If your submitted post has been included in the Cav, please remember to post about it on your blog because it helps us all.


    Hank Stern

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