On Feb. 5, officials confirmed that the U.S. Federal Reserve was hacked on Super Bowl Sunday. On the morning of Feb. 4, before the official confirmation of Feb. 5, Anonymous hacktivists announced via Twitter that they had hacked the U.S. Federal Reserve and released the login credentials and personal information belonging to over 4,000 American banking executives.
About the hack, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Federal Reserve said:
"The 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 attack on the U.S. Federal Reserve by hacktivists associated with the international collective known as Anonymous is part of Operation Last Resort (#OpLastResort) - an effort to force the U.S. government to reform computer crime law, in particular, the alleged unfair tactics and disproportionate prosecution for hacktivists and other Internet freedom fighters.
Anonymous launched Operation Last Resort in honor of Aaron Swartz, a brilliant technologist and Internet freedom fighter who committed suicide last month. Swartz helped create Reddit and RSS, the technology behind blogs, podcasts and other web-based subscription services. Yet he was also facing federal charges alleging that he illegally gained access to millions of articles from a Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer archive. As a result of those charges Swartz endured intense government harassment, and as a consequence suffered grave emotional distress, which many believe played a significant role in his demise.
Last month, as part of Operation Last Resort, in solidarity with the late Aaron Swartz, and in opposition to alleged unjust policies of the United States Department of Justice, hacktivists associated with the international collective known as Anonymous hacked and defaced the United States Sentencing Commission official website.
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