By Sara Jerome - 06/12/11 03:13 PM EDT
The International Monetary Fund has been hit my a major cyberattack, according to reports.
An unnamed official is quoted in the New York Times as saying the attack was serious. The IMF has not made a public announcement yet, but disclosed the attack to staff on Wednesday.
Spokesman David Hawley downplayed the issue in news accounts, saying the organization is functional and terming the hit an "IT incident."
The Associated Press frames the story in light of other IMF troubles: "The IMF is already facing a public-relations headache after the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned as IMF chief last month after being accused of sexually assaulting a maid in a New York hotel."
The AP raises the possibility that the attack was what it called "hackitvism"-style retribution for the Strauss-Kahn allegations.
"It's possible the IMF was the victim of such hacktivism," the report says.
However, one official told the New York Times that the attacks were longterm and began before that incident.