Security & Fraud

Fed's Report Uncovers 50+ Data Breaches

Federal Reserve Hit By Cyberattacks

Between 2011 and 2015, the U.S. Federal Reserve was targeted in more than 50 cyberattacks.

From cybersecurity records gathered via a Freedom of Information Act request, Reuters reported that it remains unclear if the data breaches reported resulted in sensitive data being compromised or funds stolen.

The heavily redacted records represent only a small portion of the total number of cyberincidents and breaches at the Fed, because they only cover cases related to the Washington-based Board of Governors, a federal agency that is required by law to maintain public records.

"Hacking is a major threat to the stability of the financial system. This data shows why," James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at a Washington think tank who also reviewed the files, told Reuters.

The records show more than 50 "unauthorized access" and more than 30 "information disclosure” incidents were reported by the Fed’s national cybersecurity team because they affected the Board of Governors.

However, the Fed told CNNMoney on Wednesday (June 1) that the internal documents simply acknowledge that an attempt was made by a hacker to access its computer systems but not that it necessarily happened.

A Federal Reserve representative told CNNMoney that the central bank continues to face a significant number of attacks from cybercriminals.

"As with other government agencies, the Federal Reserve is a target for cyberattacks. However, our security program and processes for detecting and countering attacks are robust, and our critical operations have never been affected,” the Fed’s statement explained.

Unfortunately, big banks dealing with cybersecurity breaches seem to be a mainstay in recent news.

For global payment network SWIFT, the same irregularities identified across 12 impacted banks are similar to those that took place during the Bangladesh central bank heist earlier this year, where cybercriminals made off with $81 million.

A person familiar with the probe told Bloomberg last month that security firm FireEye, which is conducting the investigation into the massive bank heist on behalf of the Bangladesh bank, was contacted by the other banks after finding evidence hackers accessed their networks.

The majority of the banks are located in Southeast Asia but also reportedly include banks in the Philippines and New Zealand.

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