Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation logo.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation logo. Image: Federal Times.

The Chinese military could be behind the cyber attacks the FDIC has suffered in different opportunities since 2010, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is going to open an investigation on the matter. 

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, one of the three institutions known for regulating the activities of commercial banks in the United States, has had difficult times in recent years when it comes to security.

Unknown hackers have made their way through the corporation’s cyber security, gaining access to confidential files in at least 159 instances according to official disclosures.

The first investigation tracks the unauthorized access to FDIC’S system back to 2010 when the network was compromised by hackers of unknown origin for the first time and stole confidential information.

The FDIC kept the security breach in secret until recently

However, FDIC technology head Russ Pittman instructed all employees to keep the attacks in secret so the reputation of FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg before the 2011 confirmation would not be affected.

FDIC senior officials referred to the cyber attacks as sponsored by Chinese military hackers, information that cannot be officially confirmed yet, but the FBI is now looking into it.

So far, Barbara Hagenbaugh, the spokeswoman for the FDIC has not made any comments on the probe being conducted by the FBI, nor has she said anything about China being behind the attacks.

FDIC technology head Russ Pittman
FDIC technology head Russ Pittman hid the “Chinese” cyber attacks. Image: Huffington Post.

China says there isn´t enough evidence to start pointing fingers

The Chinese government told Reuters that it was very hard, if not impossible to determine the origin of a cyber attack and that there was no evidence to back up the statements the senior officials of the FDIC made in private exchanges.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is currently working on some of the internal problems they might have on their network, as it took them almost two years to make sure they were free from intruders back in 2010.

Right now they are conducting vulnerability scans in different parts of the network, and they have also changed the way employees can manage the information.

Now, staff members cannot simply walk away with information stored on thumb drives, as they could do at will in the past. It is widely recognized that social engineering is a vital part of the hacking process.

People related to the matter still wonder if all these measures will be enough to prevent future attacks, and if it will be possible to find the responsible for the previous attacks. 

Source: CNBC