UK man charged with hacking US Federal Reserve

The defendant is accused of stealing personal information of employees and publishing it on a website

A British man faces new charges in the U.S. for allegedly hacking into the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank's servers and stealing names, email addresses and other personal information of the bank's computer users.

Lauri Love, already facing charges in New Jersey and Virginia, is now charged with one count of computer hacking and one count of aggravated identity theft in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, said Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney there.

Documents charging Love in New York were unsealed Thursday.

"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," Bharara said in a statement. "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."

It was unclear who is representing Love in the U.S. cases.

Love used a SQL attack to infiltrate the bank's servers, according to a press release. In late December 2012, Love told other hackers in an IRC chat room that he had gained control of the server for the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago, according to the indictment in New York. He also gained access to a Federal Reserve Bank server in New York, the U.S. Department of Justice alleged.

In later IRC chat sessions, Love told other hackers he had gained personal information of Federal Reserve employees and intended to make it public, the indictment alleges.

Love posted some personal information on a compromised website, according to Bharara's office.

The computer hacking carries a maximum term of 10 years in prison and the aggravated identity theft carries an additional sentence of two years in prison.

Love and coconspirators compromised several U.S. agencies, including NASA, the U.S. Defense Department's Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Army's Network Enterprise Technology Command and the Environmental Protection Agency, according to the charges in New Jersey.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Tags U.S. Department of JusticeU.S. Federal Reserve Banksecuritylegaldata breachLauri LovegovernmentcybercrimePreet BhararaU.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

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