The FBI has begun to investigate a security breach at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. that started in 2010 and included the computer of then-FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair, Reuters reported Friday.
Individuals familiar with the matter told Reuters that senior officials at FDIC believe the breach, which is being investigated by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, is associated with cyber threat actors backed by China’s military.
Dustin Volz and Jason Lange write the breach continued in 2011 and that FDIC staff carried on with efforts to expunge the hackers through 2012 based on a 2013 investigation by FDIC’s inspector general.
FDIC told Congress in a report that it experienced seven major cyber incidents between 2015 and 2016, while a redacted copy of its annual report shows FDIC saw 159 cases of unauthorized access into its computers in fiscal year 2015 such as the use of thumb drives by employees to copy sensitive information.
FDIC said it has implemented a ban on flash drives and increased coordination efforts with the Department of Homeland Security to prevent cyber breaches, among other data security measures, according to Reuters.
“If you have no definitive proof, then it is very hard for you to judge where the attacks really come from,” Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry, said in response when asked about China’s potential involvement in the FDIC hack.