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World Bank denies hackers pwned key systems

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The World Bank has denied reports that hackers penetrated its network on multiple occasions over the last year.

Fox News reports the financial institution has suffered at least six attacks since the middle of 2007. The assault emerged in the course of a separate FBI investigation, prompting the bank to issue a memo (pdf) to warn workers.

Hackers are said to have hit 40 servers at the financial institution, which provides financial help to developing countries and has an annual budget of $25bn, including a backup centre in South Africa. IP addresses in Macao, China were used as a launchpad for some of the alleged attacks. Workstations within the bank's treasury network were separately infected with spyware. Crackers reportedly gained access to email servers containing email messages dating back six months.

In a statement sent to Fox News after it published its initial story, the World Bank said that Fox News relied on "unattributed sources and leaked emails that are taken out of context" and was wrong.

"Like other public and private institutions, the World Bank has repeatedly experienced hacking attacks on its computer systems and is constantly updating its security to defeat these. But at no point has a hacking attack accessed sensitive information in the World Bank's Treasury, procurement, anti-corruption or human resources departments," it said. ®

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