Incident & Breach Response , Security Operations

IMF Investigating Cyber Incident Affecting Email Accounts

International Monetary Fund Provides Update After Detecting February Cyber Incident
IMF Investigating Cyber Incident Affecting Email Accounts
The International Monetary Fund is investigating a breach involving 11 email accounts. (Image: Shutterstock)

The International Monetary Fund is investigating a February cyber incident in which hackers breached 11 email accounts belonging to the global institution.

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The IMF said Friday that it first detected evidence of the breach on Feb. 16 and then launched an investigation with assistance from independent cybersecurity experts to determine the nature of incident and implement remediation actions.

"We have no indication of further compromise beyond these email accounts at this point in time," the statement says.

A spokesperson for the IMF told Information Security Media Group in a statement that the investigation is ongoing and added: "For security reasons, we cannot disclose further details, nor confirm attribution."

Reuters previously reported that the affected email accounts did not include top managers such as Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

"The MD and her top leadership team were not targeted," a spokesperson reportedly told the news agency. The IMF in a statement to ISMG said it could not confirm or deny those reports.

The IMF said it "operates under the assumption that cyber incidents will unfortunately occur" and maintains a "robust cybersecurity program" to respond to events such as the February cyber incident.

The IMF comprises 190 member countries and supports a range of international financial and economic policies. It also provides funds and monitors global economies.

The IMF's last reported cybersecurity incident was in 2011 when the organization confirmed it was the victim of "a very major breach." Reports at the time said the incident likely involved a spear-phishing campaign that targeted IMF employees with malicious links.

About the Author

Chris Riotta

Chris Riotta

Managing Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Riotta is a journalist based in Washington, D.C. He earned his master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he served as 2021 class president. His reporting has appeared in NBC News, Nextgov/FCW, Newsweek Magazine, The Independent and more.

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