International Criminal Court Discloses Cyberattack As Attempted Espionage


The International Criminal Court (ICC), the world’s premier institution mandated to investigate and prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, has revealed that a recent cyberattack aimed at its systems was an attempted act of espionage. The attack, which took place in September, targeted the court’s headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands.

Key Takeaway

The International Criminal Court recently disclosed a cyberattack on its systems, deeming it an attempt at espionage. The attack targeted sensitive information about alleged war crimes and potentially endangered witnesses. The court is intensifying its cybersecurity measures to fend off future threats and safeguard its operations.

The Sophisticated and Targeted Attack

According to the latest update from the ICC, the cyberattack was a carefully planned and intricate operation with the objective of gathering sensitive information through espionage. The court considers this attack to be a grave attempt to undermine its mandate.

As the ICC holds highly sensitive data concerning allegations of war crimes and the identities of potential at-risk witnesses, it is currently investigating whether any data was compromised during the cyberattack. In the event that evidence of data compromise is discovered, the court has assured that those affected will be promptly contacted and informed directly.

While the specifics of the cyberattack, such as the deployment of malware, have not been confirmed by the ICC, it has expressed concerns about the possibility of disinformation campaigns being launched to delegitimize its activities and officials.

Broader Security Concerns and Ongoing Disruptions

Notably, the cyberattack on the ICC occurred against the backdrop of increased security concerns. Following the ICC’s issuance of arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia retaliated by issuing its own arrest warrants for the ICC’s president, deputy, chief prosecutor, and a presiding judge. Thus, the court anticipates further hostilities and disinformation campaigns.

Furthermore, the ICC revealed that it has been consistently targeted by persistent attempts to breach and disrupt its systems, indicating the gravity of the security challenges faced by the organization.

Enhancing Cybersecurity Measures

In light of the unprecedented cyberattack in September, the ICC has vowed to bolster its cybersecurity safeguards. This comprehensive approach includes strengthening the court’s risk management framework, developing robust procedures to protect victims and witnesses from any potential security risks, and fortifying its overall cybersecurity resilience.

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