U.S. authorities are accusing a British man of hacking into the systems of the U.S. central bank, the U.S. Federal Reserve, stealing confidential information and posting it online.
Lauri Love was charged today in Manhattan federal court with allegedly hacking into the Fed’s servers in late 2012 and early 2013 in an effort to obtain non-public information, and publicly disclose that information by posting it on certain websites. He is charged with one count of computer hacking and one count of aggravated identity theft. The allegations have not been proven, and he’s considered innocent until proven guilty.
According to the allegations in an indictment that was unsealed in federal court today, Love is a sophisticated hacker who, it says, worked with other hackers around the world to secretly gain access to the Fed’s systems in order to steal and then publicly disseminate confidential information found on those servers.
The indictment says that the hackers exploited a known vulnerability in a particular software program the Fed was using to gain unauthorized access to certain servers, including servers associated with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This access was then used to steal confidential information, including the names, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of users of the Fed’s computer system. The information was then posted on a website that previously had been hacked and that he controlled.
“As alleged, Lauri Love is a sophisticated hacker who broke into Federal Reserve computers, stole sensitive personal information, and made it widely available, leaving people vulnerable to malicious use of that information,” said Preet Bharara, U.S attorney for the Southern District of New York, in announcing the charges. “We place a high priority on the investigation and prosecution of hackers who intrude into our infrastructure and threaten the personal security of our citizens.”