In response to claims by the “hacktivist” group Anonymous that it hacked into the U.S. Federal Reserve Sunday and stole details of more than 4,000 bank executives, The Guardian reported that the bank “has confirmed one of its internal websites was broken into.”
Anonymous is a loosely affiliated group of activist computer hackers whose goal is to expose what it calls government and establishment hypocrisy.
A tweet sent Sunday from Twitter user Operation Last Resort said: “Now we have your attention America: Anonymous’s Superbowl Commercial 4k banker d0x via the FED.” It was followed by a second tweet that said: “Yes we posted over 4000 U.S. bank executive credentials.”
From The Guardian:
“The Federal Reserve system is aware that information was obtained by exploiting a temporary vulnerability in a website vendor product,” a spokeswoman for the US central bank said.
“Exposure was fixed shortly after discovery and is no longer an issue. This incident did not affect critical operations of the Federal Reserve system,” the spokeswoman said, adding that all individuals affected by the breach had been contacted.
The admission follows a claim that hackers linked to Anonymous struck the bank on Sunday. The technology news site ZDNet separately reported that Anonymous appeared to have published information said to containing the login information, credentials, internet protocol addresses and contact information of more than 4,000 US bankers.
There has been speculation that the attack was in retaliation for the death of Internet prodigy and programmer Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide in mid-January.
Swartz was to stand trial in April on 13 felony charges for hacking into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer system and downloading millions of scientific and scholarly documents.
Anonymous was in the news in January, when it posted photos and video allegedly associated with the case of two Ohio high school football players accused of raping a teenage girl.