TeaMp0isoN, the hacking group linked to hacktivist collective Anonymous, has posted the log-in details of over 1,000 United Nations employees online in an attempt to highlight what it perceives to be corruption at the organisation.
The details, including email addresses, passwords and log-ins, were posted to Pastebin, and the perpetrators branded the UN a "Senate for Global Corruption".
"The overseer of many atrocities from Rwanda to Darfour to the inaction in Yugoslavia to the creation of the State of Israel and the disposition of the Palestinian people, the UN has become a beast that must be stopped or tamed," noted the statement.
"The UN is a fraud! The bureaucratic head of NATO used to legitimise the Barbarism of Capitalist elite ... United Nations, why didn't you expect us?"
However, according to reports, the details were taken from an old UN server and the credentials posted online are no longer active.
Employees came from the UN Development Programme, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Health Organisation, among others.
Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley argued in a blog post that the hackers may have been able to "take advantage of a vulnerability on the UN Development Programme web site to extract the IDs, email address and passwords of users".
"The gang noted, when publishing their stash on Pastebin, that some of the user IDs appeared to have a blank password, news which will make many a system administrator groan and roll their eyes in exasperation," he added.
Jason Hart, managing director of authentication firm Cryptocard, warned that many of the stolen details included personal email addresses.
"As we all know, passwords cross personal and professional lives, so these people could well be compromised at work and at home," he said.
"I would bet my last pound that most of these people are still using the same password, therefore they are vulnerable to attack."
The posting of the credentials on Pastebin marks a return by Anonymous and its offshoots to one of their most tried and tested tactics, which has seen organisations from law enforcement to defence contractors and even agricultural firms all targeted over the past year.
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