Anonymous Hacks The U.S. Federal Reserve

Author: Dan Reyes
Published: February 11, 2013 at 6:06 am

The hacktivist group Anonymous hacked the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' internal files and servers, according to a ZDNet report.

The above report claims that "the new attack is Anonymous' response to the information security community's anger at the Federal Reserve ("The Fed") for its dismissive attitude and lack of transparency around Sunday's emergency contact system hack."

The emergency contact system (ECS) enables agencies to establish two-way communications channels with institutions during a crisis to exchange critical information; crises such as natural or man-made disasters (weather, fire, and so on), "chemical biological events or threats, and "events affecting the financial markets."

ZDNet reports that a Federal Reserve Spokesperson told reporters that Anonymous' claim to the hack's importance was "overstated," yet information security professionals that serve financial institutions said the exact opposite — and were angry with the Federal Reserve for downplaying the incident.

Meanwhile, according to ZDNet, one of the people who had expressed his concern in the hacking incident was Veracode chief technology officer Chris Wysopal and calls the hack "a spearphishing bonanza and the most valuable account dump by quality I have seen in a while."

Another person who had expressed a concern on the incident was Jon Waldman, a senior information security consultant whose firm specializes in serving small-to-medium sized financial institutions told ZDNet and explained his anger at The Feds downplaying of the incident. Here are some excerpts of what he said: "The Federal Reserve is simply incorrect by saying there's not account details on the list. I've seen that list and it is absolutely rife with account details. Usernames and hashed passwords are included with salts." "As an information security expert, its my official position that there was a blatant and irresponsible lack of tact and urgency in the response by the Federal Reserve to the individuals and institutions contained in this list. I'd go as far as to say they have irrevocably LIED to their constituents here."

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Article Author: Dan Reyes

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