A hacker has been charged with illegally accessing FedComp computer systems at the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland, and stealing at least 400,000 credit and debit card numbers.
Malaysian national Lin Mun Poo was apparently arrested one month ago after arriving at New York's JFK Airport, where authorities found the credit and debit card data on a laptop computer Poo had in his possession.
The FedComp database handles information related to credit unions nationwide, resulting in four counts of fraud and identity theft, which could land Poo in prison for as much as ten years.
"Cybercriminals continue to use their sophistication and skill as hackers to attack our financial and national security sectors," says Brooklyn US Attorney Loretta Lynch.
It is unclear why Poo traveled to the United States, how authorities had traced the thefts to the suspect, or what he planned to do with the stolen data.
Poo is also being charged with breaking into systems which contained highly sensitive and classified information at a Department of Defense contractor.
Financial institutions will continue to be a prime target for hackers and criminal networks because, as notorious bank robber Willie Sutton is noted for having allegedly said, that's where the money is.
This breach is particularly troubling, as transactions from every bank in the country are processed through regional branches of the Federal Reserve, which is how Poo was able to take credit and debit card data from a number of different credit unions.
Looks like it is time to get more proactive in protecting our financial industry's mothership.