Federal Reserve Admits it WAS Hacked As Group “Takes Revenge” For Suicide of Reddit Founder

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The Federal Reserve has admitted it was  hacked by Anonymous as the group ‘takes revenge’ for suicide of Reddit founder  Aaron Swartz.

The admission, which raises questions about  cyber security at the Fed, follows a claim that hackers linked to the activist  group Anonymous had struck the Fed on Sunday, accessing personal information of  more than 4,000 U.S. bank executives, which it published on the Web.

Swartz, 26, killed himself on January 11,  just a month before he was set to go on trial in Boston for thirteen felony  charges.

On film: Aaron Swartz was caught soon afterwards this video taken at MIT was recorded on January 6 2011 with a laptop and a hard drive that contained secured and lucrative academic journals that had been hacked

Family and friends of Swartz, who helped  create Reddit and RSS, say he killed himself after he was hounded by federal  prosecutors.

Officials say he helped post millions of  court documents for free online and that he illegally downloaded millions of  academic articles from an online clearinghouse.

Today a Fed spokeswoman saidThe Federal Reserve system is aware that information  was obtained by exploiting a temporary vulnerability in a website vendor  product.’

‘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  effected by the breach had been contacted.

Technology news site ZDNet separately  reported that Anonymous appeared to have published information allegedly  containing the login information, credentials, internet protocol addresses and  contact information of more than 4,000 U.S. bankers on Sunday  night.

The claim was made via Twitter over an  account registered to OpLastResort, which is linked to Anonymous, a loosely  organized group of hacker activists who have claimed responsibility for scores  of attacks on government and corporate sites over the past several years.

OpLastResort is a campaign that some hackers  linked to Anonymous have started to protest government prosecution of computer  prodigy Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide on Jan. 11.

The Fed declined to identify which website  had been hacked. But information that it provided to bankers indicated that the  site, which was not public, was a contact database for banks to use during a  natural disaster.

A copy of the message sent by the Fed to  members of its Emergency Communication System (ECS), which was obtained by  Reuters, warned that mailing address, business phone, mobile phone, business  email, and fax numbers had been published.

‘Some registrants also included optional  information consisting of home phone and personal email. Despite claims to the  contrary, passwords were not compromised,’ the Fed said.

The central bank separately confirmed the  authenticity of the message to ECS members.

The website’s purpose is to allow bank  executives to update the Fed if their operations have been flooded or otherwise  damaged in a storm or other disaster.

That helps the Fed to assess the overall  impact of the event on the banking system.

Last month the hacker-activist group hijacked  the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission to avenge the  death.

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