By Marcus Leach

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has confirmed that it has been targeted by a sophisticated cyber attack.

The New York Times reported that the attack that took place earlier this year was 'a very major breach' of the IMF's systems

The attack, that was designed to install software to create a digital insider presence, took place over a period of several months and came before former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn stepped down following allegations in his personal life.

The IMF were quick to confirm that their operations were fully functional still.

"I can confirm that we are investigating an incident," said spokesman David Hawley.

"I am not in a position to elaborate further on the extent of the cyber security incident."

The reports in The New Your Times say that IMF staff were notified of the attack via email on Wednesday, but the IMF hadn't made a public announcement.

“The fact that the attack took place over several months and was targeted at an individual employee is of significant concern," commented Mark Darvill, director at trusted security firm, AEP Networks. "The attempt to establish a fake "digital insider presence", whether it is another state or a malicious individual, needs to be looked at extremely carefully. Once something is ‘digitally signed’, it is essentially assumed legitimate and given roaming rights.

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