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Federal Reserve Breached, Countless Americans' Banking Secrets Being Held for Ransom: Hacking Group

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The U.S. Federal Reserve may have been the victim of a hacking scheme, endangering some 33 terabytes (each terabyte being 1,000 gigabytes) of Americans’ sensitive financial information, United Press International reported Monday.

LockBit, the cybergang that claimed the attack, issued a Tuesday deadline for the Fed to cough up a ransom for the stolen data.

With both sides largely silent, it was unknown exactly what banking information the group had — or if the hack was even real.

Cyberattack tracker HackManac posted a screenshot of LockBit’s Sunday dark net announcement about the alleged Fed breach.

“33 terabytes of juicy banking information containing Americans’ banking secrets,” the group’s post said.

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“You better hire another negotiator within 48 hours,” LockBit continued, seemingly hinting at ongoing negotiations, “and fire this clinical idiot who values Americans’ bank secrecy at $50,000.”

While the nefarious organization’s claim was a bold one, not everyone was convinced the group had pulled off a breach of the highly secure Federal Reserve.

Is the Federal Reserve at risk?

One fact that could hint the entire hack was a bluff was that LockBit was severely hobbled when an international law enforcement effort dubbed Operation Cronos tightened the noose around the group.

According to Infosecurity Magazine, the operation saw the successful seizure of 34 LockBit servers, the closure of 14,000 “rogue” accounts and a chilling freeze of the group’s 200 cryptocurrency accounts.

A Department of Justice news release on the group’s takedown noted the indictment of Russian members of the group. A total of five people were charged in the hacking schemes in February.

A few of LockBit’s assets apparently fell through the cracks in this operation, hinting that the group could still be capable of harm.

But does this hacking organization have enough fight in it to take on the Federal Reserve?

Related:
AT&T Admits Its Network Was Breached by Massive Hack Impacting 'Nearly All' Customers

“Post-Operation Cronos, LockBit appears to be in a state of desperation, attempting to regain its credibility and recruit affiliates by showcasing high-profile attacks,” Ferhat Dikbiyik, chief research and intelligence officer for the risk management firm Black Kite, told SiliconAngle.

“It’s unusual for ransomware groups to successfully breach such significant institutions without swift retaliation or acknowledgment,” Dikbiyik said. “The size of the alleged breach and the dramatic narrative could very well be part of a broader strategy to instill fear and re-establish dominance in the cybercrime ecosystem.”

LockBit had not offered any evidence for its extraordinary claim.

As the deadline rapidly approached, the group’s credibility as a powerful and malicious cyberspace actor was set to be tested.


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Jared has written more than 200 articles and assigned hundreds more since he joined The Western Journal in February 2017. He was an infantryman in the Arkansas and Georgia National Guard and is a husband, dad and aspiring farmer.
Jared has written more than 200 articles and assigned hundreds more since he joined The Western Journal in February 2017. He is a husband, dad, and aspiring farmer. He was an infantryman in the Arkansas and Georgia National Guard. If he's not with his wife and son, then he's either shooting guns or working on his motorcycle.
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Arkansas
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Military, firearms, history




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