Cyber Security: World Bank “Invited” Attack; “Gave Away” Millions of Dollars Through IT Office

The World Bank’s information security officer, a native of Sri Lanka,  set up a no-interest, $53 million bank loan to Sri Lanka’s government to help wire up that nation’s communications infrastructure — bypassing the World Bank’s normal vetting officials.

Over the past year, as FOX News reported three weeks ago, the bank has suffered a series of Internet attacks that penetrated at least 18 and perhaps as many as 40 of the bank’s data servers. Moreover, spyware was apparently installed on computers inside the bank’s treasury unit in Washington.

By Richard Behar
Fox News

In 1997, Mohamed Vazir Muhsin, a Sri Lankan accountant, was chosen by then-World Bank President James Wolfensohn as the first chief information officer in the institution’s history. Eight years later, Muhsin was unceremoniously thrown out the door, and the bank’s information security headaches reached migraine stage.

Early on in his tenure, Muhsin selected Satyam Computer Services, one of India’s largest and fastest-growing technology firms, to create and maintain the software programs that would make the bank’s information infrastructure into one of the world’s most important data bases. Both sides found the deal highly beneficial.

World Bank building at Washington.jpg
Above: World Bank, Washington D.C.

By late 2005, when he was accused of improper ties with Satyam and ousted from the bank, “Mohamed was arguably the most powerful person in the bank,” one insider who worked closely with Muhsin told FOX News.

So powerful, in fact, that he was able to conceive and arrange a bank loan in 2003 to his native Sri Lanka — bypassing the department that would normally have approved it. The project, known as “e-Sri Lanka,” involved a no-interest, $53 million bank loan to Sri Lanka’s government to help wire up that nation’s communications infrastructure.

The loan was highly controversial. At one stage, bank officials suspended the project after complaints that the World Bank’s information technology department had no business arranging loans to any government — let alone to one of “the world’s most unstable countries,” as the World Bank labeled strife-torn Sri Lanka in 2004. But after a Muhsin protege took charge of the bank’s South Asia department, the project moved ahead that same year without any further delays.

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,445845,00.html

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