Anonymous Hacks US Federal Reserve: Report

Dennis Faas's picture

The US Federal Reserve has confirmed that it recently suffered a cyber attack that resulted in personal data being lost. It's also possible that this information has already been published online.

A spokesman for the Federal Reserve said the attack was made possible by hackers "exploiting a temporary vulnerability in a website vendor product." That problem was quickly fixed once officials became aware of it.

The spokesman didn't publicly confirm what information was stolen, but did say that the attack failed to negatively impact critical operations. There's no indication the hacking resulted in any theft of money. (Source:

Stolen Bank Details May Already Be Online

It's possible that the attack is connected to a recent publication by Anonymous (a loosely-knit group of "hactivists") which contains a list of names and contact details for around 4,000 people employed at American financial institutions, including credit unions and banks. (Source:

Leaked internal memoranda from the Federal Reserve suggests that the information stolen by Anonymous was a contact list intended to be used in the event that a major natural disaster negatively affected the United States' banking system.

However, it's still not clear if the Anonymous document includes the same information recently stolen by hackers. The Anonymous document contains log-in data and password details, while the Federal Reserve memo indicates that no passwords were compromised during this most recent attack.

Anonymous has claimed responsibility for the attack, however. The group recently tweeted this statement: "Now we have your attention America: Anonymous's [sic] Superbowl Commercial 4k banker d0x via the FED."

Protestor Prosecution Sparks Hacking Campaign

Anonymous published the list as part of a campaign dubbed 'OpLastResort.' It was sparked by the suicide of Aaron Swartz, who played a major role in developing several prominent Internet sites and services.

Swartz helped develop the Rich Site Summary (RSS) system, which allows people to use "news reader" software to automatically view news articles without having to visit a website.

He also worked on Reddit, a site that lets users submit links to articles on other sites, with other users voting to decide which links should be listed most prominently. Reddit had been dubbed "the front page of the web."

Swartz was charged with a series of fraud offenses after illegally accessing academic journals from a closed university network. Facing a prison sentence, Swartz took his own life last month.

Last month Anonymous attacked the United States Sentencing Commission website. It's believed that hack was also connected to Swartz's death.

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