UPDATE: The Federal Reserve admitted on Wednesday that hackers did gain access to computers used in communication with local banks after the Anonymous hacker collective released the personal information of over 4,000 US bank executives earlier this week.
“The Federal Reserve System is aware that information was obtained by exploiting a temporary vulnerability in a website vendor product,” A Federal Reserve spokesman said in a statement.
“The 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 spokesman said.
Citing federal law enforcement officials, ABC news stated that the FBI has opened an investigation into the incident.
The Federal Reserve hack was part of an Anonymous campaign, OpLastResort.
“The Fed calls our hack claims 'overstated', like their qualification for an unregulated and opaque role in determining US economic policy,” said Twitter account @OpLastResort, the account used by the organization for this particular operation.
Anonymous released the security credentials for over 4,000 US bank executives on Monday, posting their user account information, passwords and personal information online as part of OpLastResort.
OpLastResort is an Anonymous operation calling for sweeping reforms of the US criminal justice system.
Anonymous claimed that the bank executives' information was taken from networks associated with the US Federal Reserve.
The dox – or release of personal information online – was posted as a spreadsheet on a domain belonging to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information center: http://acjic.alabama.gov. To publish the spreadsheet, the hackers gained access to the domain and added “oops we did it again” to the URL.
Banks listed in the dox included a large number of small community banks. Lacking the security infrastructure of larger national banks, local banks are more vulnerable to security breaches and cyberattacks.