US Federal Reserve admits to breached system

A group claiming affiliation to the Anonymous hacktivist collective posted contact info for more than 4,000 banking executives

Malicious attackers gained entry to internal U.S. Federal Reserve System computers, illegally copying a database of banking executive contact information, the banking system has confirmed.

"The Federal Reserve System is aware that information was obtained by exploiting a temporary vulnerability in a website vendor product. The vulnerability was fixed shortly after discovery and is no longer an issue," a Federal Reserve spokesman wrote in an email. "This incident did not affect critical operations of the Federal Reserve System."

The Federal Reserve did not identify the attackers, however, on Sunday, a group claiming to be affiliated with Anonymous, the loose collective of malicious hackers, posted the personal information of more than 4,000 bank executives, stating the information came from the Federal Reserve.

The Emergency Communications System (ECS), run by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, was the system attacked, according to a memo that the banking system sent out to the system's users. ECS provides financial institutions with status updates of the Federal Reserve during times of natural disaster. Attackers gained access to a database with bank executive contact information, including mailing addresses, business and phone numbers, email and fax numbers.

The Federal Reserve stated that no passwords were compromised, despite press reports to the contrary. The organization reset the contact's passwords to the system anyway as a precaution.

The group, Operation Last Resort, posted the contact information it had on the website for the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, after breaking into that site. Operation Last Resort is protesting what it considers to be overly severe U.S. Department of Justice prosecution of Internet activist and innovator Aaron Swartz, who recently committed suicide. Swartz faced a 35-year jail sentence and a US$1 million fine for allegedly illegally downloading millions of scholarly articles from a Massachusetts Institute of Technology network.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags U.S. Federal Reserve

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?