Last week we learned courtesy of a Reuters FOIA that there over the past 6 years there has been a coordinated attack to hack the Fed.
Just a few days after a report emerged that the security at the US Federal Reserve had been breached on at least 50 occasions between 2011 and 2015, yesterday a U.S. congressional committee launched an investigation into the Federal Reserve’s cyber security practices. The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology on Friday sent a letter to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to express “serious concerns” over the central bank’s ability to protect sensitive financial information. The letter cited the Reuters report, which was based on heavily redacted internal Fed records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
While the redacted records did not say who hacked the bank’s systems or whether they accessed sensitive information or stole money, one can make the assumption that penetrating the world’s most important central bank likely has a monetary motive.
“These reports raise serious concerns about the Federal Reserve’s cyber security posture, including its ability to prevent threats from compromising highly sensitive financial information housed on the agency’s systems,” said the letter, signed by House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, and Barry Loudermilk, a Georgia Republican and chairman of the panel’s oversight subcommittee.
A Fed spokesperson said the central bank had received the panel’s letter and “will respond to it.”
As Reuters reports, the panel asked the Fed’s national cyber security team – the National Incident Response Team – to turn over all cyber incident reports in unredacted form from Jan. 1, 2009, to the present. It also asked for incident reports from the Fed’s local incident response teams. The panel also requested a “detailed description of all confirmed cyber security incidents” from 2009 to the present, all documents and communications referring or relating to “higher impact cases” handled by the Fed’s NIRT team, all documents and communications with the Fed’s Office of Inspector General related to confirmed cyber incidents, and an organizational chart detailing the Fed’s top cyber security personnel.
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And then there is the brute force method, because one doesn’t need to hack the Fed’s firewall to gain access to confidential Fed files. Simple theft will suffice.According to the Chicago scanner, yesterday around noon, “a laptop owned by the Federal Reserve with classified bank info” as well as a Fed Blackberry were stolen from a home in Lakeview, just north of Chicago.
Considering the Fed’s now ubiquitous role in setting “prices” across countless assets, one wonders i) just how much market-manipulative, inside information the robber now has at their disposal, and what kind of profits he or she can generate and ii) whether unlike Hillary Clinton, this particular Fed Blackberry had a password.
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