OECD hacked for economic data

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development revealed this week that it was hacked by cyber criminals seeking to steal its economic data.

The economic intelligence group noticed “unusual” activity on its network back in August 2010. It discovered a malware infection that was allowing hackers to access its systems. The OECD is still working to remove the malware infection today.

"The suspicion is [the infection] came in via USB keys,” an OECD spokesperson told European news site EU Observer. “Our agents travel around the world. They often go to conferences. There are exchanges of information, exchanges of USB keys."

The attack was sophisticated, the spokesperson said, and was designed to steal information, not disrupt operations. They said that the attacks appeared to originate in a number of geographic locations.

This week, the EU is conducting a cyberwar simulation to test its information security defences. Security experts will attempt to break into government networks in member states including the UK.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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