ICC: September breach was espionage raid

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) revealed that a cyberattack on its computer systems in September was a highly targeted espionage attempt, although attribution remains unclear so far.

The Netherlands-based court, which tries individuals suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity, first job a brief message about the violation at the end of September.

However, a longer blog post published Friday revealed more information gathered during a subsequent forensic investigation.

“The evidence available so far indicates a targeted and sophisticated attack with the aim of espionage. The attack can therefore be interpreted as a serious attempt to undermine the mandate of the Court,” he said.

“Based on the forensic analysis carried out, the court has already taken and will continue to take all necessary measures to remedy any compromise of data belonging to individuals, organizations and states. If it turns out that specific data entrusted to the court has been compromised, the individuals concerned will be contacted immediately and directly by the court.

Read more about ICC violations: International Criminal Court reveals security breach

The ICC has not yet been able to confirm who was behind the incident, although Dutch law enforcement is continuing its criminal investigation.

As Information security reported last month, many potential suspects could benefit from knowing more about ongoing ICC cases and protected witnesses. Prosecutors are currently reportedly investigating 17 cases in Ukraine, Uganda, Venezuela, Afghanistan and the Philippines.

The ICC also issued a global arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin in March, putting the Russian state at the top of the list of suspects for this cybersecurity breach.

A Russian spy posing as a Brazilian intern was barred from working for the ICC after Dutch intelligence intervened last year.

The ICC said it was “accelerating” several cybersecurity initiatives in response to the breach, as well as strengthening its risk management framework and incident response processes.

“This latest attack comes at a time when the court’s security concerns are broader and heightened: several elected officials, including court judges and the prosecutor, have had criminal proceedings brought against them; the Court has recently been subject to daily and persistent attempts to attack and disrupt its systems; and the court avoided a nearly successful attempt to infiltrate the court by a hostile intelligence officer under the guise of a trainee,” He concluded.

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