Cyber breaches at U.S. Federal Reserve all occurred between 2011 and 2015
There was no shortage of cybersecurity incidents at the U.S. Federal Reserve from 2011 to 2015, including a handful of cyber events that the Feds described internally as "espionage."
Global news agency Reuters obtained federal cybersecurity reports through a Freedom of Information Act request, and recently published its findings based on those reports. According to Reuters, 310 incident reports were logged by the Federal Reserve's cybersecurity team over the four-year span.
Of the 310 overall incidents, the Fed's cybersecurity team classified 140 as hacking attempts, and 51 as information disclosure incidents. Some incidents did not receive any meaningful classification. Additionally, in order to maintain secrecy on multiple levels, officials heavily redacted much of the information provided to Reuters.
About 85 percent -- 263 of 310 -- of the incident reports obtained by Reuters came from the National Incident Response Team (NIRT), which operates as the Federal Reserve's national cybersecurity team.
— Reuters Business (@ReutersBiz) June 1, 2016
Only one piece of the cyber puzzle
Because the information provided to Reuters only included only cases that involved agencies that are subject to public records laws, the numbers only represent a portion of overall cybersecurity events experienced by the Fed. According to Reuters, the cybersecurity information provided to them did not include data from the central bank's 12 privately owned regional branches.
Regardless, this report of hundreds of cybersecurity events at the Fed in a relatively short amount of time comes as federal agencies have been repeatedly called out for falling behind in the field of cybersecurity.
A recent, private study analyzed cyber security risk among 18 major industries in the U.S. and gave government organizations the lowest security scores. And a recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) called out federal agencies for using increasingly outdated IT systems.