New League Blog Post—Federal Reserve Breach

Apparently, while most people were enjoying the Super Bowl, a group of people from the hacker group Anonymous were up to no good. They successfully breached the St Louis Fed Emergency Communications System (ECS). Over 4,000 user IDs, names, titles, IP Addresses, and contact information of employees at credit unions and other financial institutions were compromised. Anonymous has been protesting the Government’s treatment and eventual suicide of Aaron Swartz, an online activist who illegally obtained academic journal articles from JSTOR.

So what can we learn from this? Well, first, no one is safe. The Fed has still not officially confirmed it was the ECS system that was hacked, but emphatically insisted that no banking system was compromised. The only thing they will admit is that third-party software was compromised and that the vulnerability has been patched. The second take away from this is that no matter who wants information from you, you should ask how it will be stored. If this information had been encrypted it would not have been much of a story.

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