Security & Fraud

House Committee Wants Details On Fed’s String Of 50 Breaches

A U.S. congressional committee wants to know why the U.S. central bank was hacked over 50 times between 2011 and 2015.

A U.S. congressional committee wants to know why the U.S. central bank was hacked over 50 times between 2011 and 2015.

In a letter to Fed Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology expressed "serious concerns" over the bank's ability to safely handle financial information, Reuters reported.

Some details of the investigation that were obtained by Reuters through a FOIA request came through a heavily redacted Fed record. The bowdlerized internal documents didn't reveal the names of the hackers or if any sensitive data or money was stolen.

"These reports raise serious concerns about the Federal Reserve's cybersecurity posture, including its ability to prevent threats from compromising highly sensitive financial information housed on the agency's systems," read the letter, which was signed by Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Chairman of Oversight Subcommittee Barry Loudermilk (R-GA).

The congressional committee has called upon the Fed Reserve's cybersecurity team — the National Incidence Report Team (NIRT) — to submit unredacted copies of every single cyberincident report and all documents and communications pertaining to "higher impact cases" from Jan. 1, 2009, to the present, according to Reuters.

A Fed spokesperson said the letter was received by the central bank and that it will respond to it.

The investigation follows the Bangladeshi cyberheist in which hackers got away with $81 million by deceiving the SWIFT messaging system and various other similar incidences that have affected banks in Vietnam, among other places.

Recently, the panel also launched a separate probe into the security practices of the Fed Reserve after the Bangladeshi attack.

The committee said it has jurisdiction over the Fed's cybersecurity since, under a 2014 federal information technology law, it is charged with overseeing the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, which develops federal cybersecurity guidelines and standards.



The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.

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