China Hacked Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Via Backdoor Malware

The US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was hacked between 2010 to 2013 and the usual suspect is China!

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology has published a report according to which China used a backdoor malware to hack the computer system at Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation between 2010 to 2013.

In total 12 computers and 10 servers were allegedly hacked by government-backed Chinese hackers — The compromised systems belonged to FDIC’s officials including former chief of staff and former general counsel according to the Interim staff report as a result of an internal investigation that was previously covered up to protect newly appointed FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg in 2011.

The report was released amid growing concern about the vulnerability of the international banking system to hackers and the latest example of how deeply Washington believes Beijing has penetrated U.S. government computers, according to Reuters.

The compromise of the FDIC computers by a foreign government had been previously reported in May and some lawmakers had mentioned China as a possible suspect, but the report on Wednesday for the first time cited a 2013 memo by the FDIC’s inspector general, an internal watchdog, as pointing toward China.

“Even the former Chairwoman’s computer had been hacked by a foreign government, likely the Chinese,” the congressional report said, referring to Gruenberg’s predecessor, Sheila Bair, who headed the FDIC from 2006 until 2011 when Gruenberg took over as acting chairman.

In February an FDIC employee stole highly confidential data using a USB drive after leaving the corporation to work for a private sector firm. The stolen data at that time included “Suspicious Activity Reports, Bank Currency Transaction Reports, Customer Data Reports, a small subset of personal work and tax files, 1,200 documents, Social Security numbers for more than 44,000 individuals and 30,715 banks,” according to a report.

The FDIC is a backbone of U.S. banking sector which keeps confidential data on America’s biggest banks. To date, there hasn’t been any public statement coming from the bank about this breach. 

It is still unclear what sort of data was stolen from hacked FDIC computers but this is not the first time when the United States has pointed fingers at China about a high-profile hack, in fact, there is a history of such cases where usual suspects have been either China or Russia. Last year, China was also blamed for high-profile breaches including 4 Million US Government workers data, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) breach in which 22 Million U.S. Government personnel had their data stolen. 

Final GOP Interim Staff Report 7-12-16 by Waqas Amir on Scribd

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