Another setback has befallen the I.M.F. which is still searching for a new director after the arrest of its former leader, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, in New York City on charges of sexual assault. This time, the Fund was the target of a sophisticated cyber attack, the details of which remain cloudy. Information has been slow to come to light, perhaps for diplomatic reasons, as most of the world’s countries are members of the Fund. The breach, which occurred over the last several months, is the latest in several high-profile cyber attacks against multinational organizations.
What’s the Big Idea?
Cyber warfare is quickly becoming a reality. Governments and businesses are scrambling to secure themselves against outright attacks on software infrastructure and against data theft. The latest attack against the I.M.F. is illustrative of what is at stake: internal I.M.F. information, such as economic data on insolvent European countries, could be used to move entire financial markets or to destabilize a country’s domestic politics. In early June, the U.S. announced new policy stating that it would respond to a cyber attack with conventional weaponry.