The FBI is looking into a hack of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) that went on for multiple years, starting back in 2010.
According to a report by Reuters, citing people with knowledge of the matter, high-up officials at the FDIC think the China military was behind the hacks in which hackers got access to dozens of computers, including that of Sheila Bair, the past FDIC chairwoman. The hack is also being probed by a congressional committee, reported Reuters.
Reuters reported that, in November, FDIC let congressional staff view international communications dealing with the hacking. The exchanges between senior officials at the FDIC said China was behind it, with the military sponsoring the hackers. There was no reason provided why the FDIC thinks China’s military is behind it. A FDIC spokeswoman would not comment on the FBI’s involvement in the hack or the fact that the agency thinks China is behind it, but she did tell Reuters that the FDIC took steps immediately after learning of the hack to find the hackers. The report noted that, upon discovering the hack in 2010, it went on into 2011 and potentially even longer, as workers at the FDIC at least through 2012 worked to confirm the hackers were out of the system.
This isn’t the first time a hack of the FDIC has been disclosed. During 2016, the FDIC told Congress of seven cybersecurity attacks at the least, reported Reuters, noting the seven reported to Congress were considered to be major and happened during 2015 and 2016. In an annual report, the FDIC said there 159 situations where there was unauthorized computer access in fiscal year 2015, Reuters reported. Those incidents also include employees copying sensitive data when leaving their jobs, while 20 of the incidents were data hacks.