Case Study on Cyber Security: 2019 Cyber Attack on the UN

In this unit, we will look into the concept of cyber security, its maintenance at an individual, national, and international level, and study the case of the 2019 cyber attack on the UN. This case study will help us recognize the importance of cyber security in international relations.


With the technological advancement, data have become no less valuable than material goods and infrastructure. Cyber attacks are launched not only on individuals, businesses or states.

International organizations are at risk.

You may find the following vocabulary useful:

ICT service — Information and Communication Technology service refers to forms of technology that are used to transmit, process, store, create, display, share or exchange information by electronic means

APT actor — an advanced persistent threat actor, typically a nation-state or a state-sponsored group that gains unauthorized access to a computer network and remains undetected for an extended period; conducts large-scale targeted intrusions for particular goals, with motivations being typically political or economic

SharePoint — Microsoft product, collaborative software used as a collaborative document management and storage system

Red flags — danger signals, indicating gaps in the security system


Study the case of the 2019 cyber attack on the UN following the links and answer the questions below.

1) What were the implications of the attack?

2) Which UN body underwent the biggest risk?

3) What were the reasons for the decision not to disclose the breach?

4) Why was this decision later criticized?


Do Internet research to find out what state bodies provide cybersecurity in

● Russia

● the USA

● the UK

● the country you specialize in