Hackers attempted to violate W.H.O. systems earlier this month, sources told Reuters, in what a senior official described as a doubling of cyberattacks.
Flavio Anzio, chief information security officer of W.H.O., said the identity of the hackers is unknown and the attempt was unsuccessful. But he warned that hacking attempts against the service and its partners have increased, as is the ongoing efforts to counter the coronavirus, which has caused the lives of more than 15,000 people worldwide.
The breach attempts initially indicated to Reuters by Alexander Urbelis, a cyber security expert and lawyer at the Blackstone Law Group, which is monitoring suspicious Internet domains activities.
Urbelis said he discovered the activity on March 13, when a hackers’ group he watched activated a malicious website that pretended W.H.O.’s internal email system.
“I quickly realized that it was an ongoing attack on W.H.O. in the midst of a pandemic, “
said about it.
As noted, he did not know who was responsible, but two other sources said they suspected an advanced hackers’ group, known as “DarkHotel”, which has been conducting cyber-spying since at least 2007.
Asked by Reuters about the incident, Anzio confirmed that the site found by Urbelis was used in an attempt to steal passwords from employees.
“There is a large increase in targeting W.H.O. and other cyber security incidents, “
said about it.
“There are no clear numbers, but such violation attempts on us and pretending W.H.O. to target others have more than doubled. “
Cyber security companies such as Bitdefender (Romania) and Kaspersky (based in Moscow) say they have tracked many of “DarkHotel’s” operations in eastern Asia; an area heavily affected by the coronavirus.