by Will Granderson, Deviant Investor:
Bank Watchdogs Caught Napping, Lying About It
Maybe we had it coming. After all, how much thought did you ever give to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, known familiarly as the FDIC? Unless you have so many thousands in the bank that you have to stay constantly vigilant that no single account exceeds its $250,000 insurance limit, just in case your bank fails—why would you care about the FDIC?
Well it turns out the FDIC gleaned we weren’t looking, so when they got hacked by what were likely agents of the Chinese government, they kept quiet about it. When it happened again, and then again, they kept quiet those times too. And boy, are the members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology mad!
Issuing a scathing July 13 report on the repeated incidents of espionage, Committee members cite attacks that infiltrated twelve work stations at the FDIC, including that of then-Chair Sheila Bair. It also exposes an internal memo from the FDIC inspector general in May 2013 to agency Chairman Martin Gruenberg which characterizes the hacking attacks as “an advanced persistent threat.” Just not one they cared to share with Congress.
Much as I hate to agree with the House Committee on Anything, these are serious breaches. The FDIC has intimate data on 9,000 banks and savings and loans nationwide, as well as their account holders – you and me. If you’ve wondered why you’re always hungry an hour after opening your bank statement, this may be it.
For its part, the Chinese embassy in Washington sniffily notes, “Making unfounded accusations is counterproductive.” I only mention this because I love a good punchline.
Every day we’re told how great technology is, with touching transcontinental Grandma-grandchild moments, and the ability of your cardiologist to now perform a triple bypass while simultaneously dropping his Schnauzer off at the groomer’s.
But what technology also enables is a bad guy, halfway around the world, who bypasses your gates and locked doors, gaining entry into the most confidential aspects of your life and security. We know—finally—about this series of breaches, but what don’t we know? And how do we truly maintain our security in a world that has ever-greater technology and increasingly lousy locks?
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