UN Confirms Cyberattack At Geneva,
Vienna Offices In 2019
January 30, 2020
The United Nations says its offices in Geneva and Vienna were hit by a
cyberattack last year that exposed lists of user accounts, but it
insisted that no sensitive information had been obtained by the hackers.
The statement on January 29 confirmed a report by the New Humanitarian
agency, which earlier in the day reported it had obtained a confidential
UN report detailing how hackers broke into dozens of UN servers in the
Swiss and Austrian cities beginning in July 2019.
The group described the attack as "one of the largest ever known to have
affected the world body," and warned it raised serious data safety
Officials did not speculate on the source of the hack. But given the
high skill level, it is possible a state-backed actor was behind it, one
“It's as if someone were walking in the sand, and swept up their tracks
with a broom afterward. There's not even a trace of a cleanup,” the
houses several UN agencies, including the Human Rights Council, the High
Commissioner for Human Rights, the High Commissioner for Refugees, the
World Health Organization, and the World Trade Organization.
Organizations in Vienna include the International Atomic Energy Agency
and the Office on Drugs and Crime.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric confirmed to reporters that the UN had
been the target of the cyberattack, but he stressed that "the damage
related to the specific attack has been contained and additional
He downplayed the attack, saying that "the UN responds to multiple
attacks at various levels of sophistication on a daily basis."