Virus Attacks the Swiss Foreign Ministry

Security researchers stated that attackers have hacked the computer network of the Swiss foreign ministry which led to the network’s shutdown for many days. A professional virus attack was launched enabling the attackers to hijack network and collect unspecified data. The scope of the attack is still unknown and the officials have not revealed what data did the hackers targeted.

According to reports, the attack was really planned enough that the attackers involved were able to get away with it without being detected. Microsoft and specialists from the ministry discovered the attack on October 22, 2009. Allvoices reported that the network was shut down after the hack has been discovered last October 27, 2009. The specialists tried to find where and how the attack started, and if there are any data that has been stolen. The staff have been prohibited to use the Internet for security purpose.

Unfortunately, the Swiss Interior Ministry and Finance Ministry also experienced some problems on their systems on the same month. It is not clear if the same incidences are related to the latest attack. Reports imply that maybe a spyware from a foreign country was spying the Swiss systems. Security specialists warn that the virus authors are starting a secret rebel technique to make a massive virus outbreaks happen hoping to be successful in compromising a significant network prior to any response from the anti-virus agencies.

On the contrary, the Swiss external affairs ministry isn’t the only entity that has been victimized by a virus attack. In 2007, hackers has successfully attracted employees at the foreign ministry and at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) to be part of a phishing scheme where there are around 500 workers who received e-mails that contains a link on a photo contest. Employees who clicked the link to vote for the said photo contest have been infected with a Trojan virus. Too bad, the government’s security software was not able to recognize the threat. The said attack was traced to come from Africa. United States had also accused China for using secretly-copied data to hack into the Commerce Department computers. Chinese were also accused for hacking computers that belongs to the computers of the Dalai Lama. In February 2009, a computer virus struck UK and French defense computers. A virus was also discovered hitting German military networks. To prevent the virus from spreading, several websites of German armed forces were disconnected from the country’s military network.

Hackers have been increasing nowadays attacking many organization and government websites in various nations. Anyone can be a victim of these online attacks especially if your computer is not protected.

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