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US Federal Reserve admits data leak from hack

The US Federal Reserve has admitted that sensitive data has been stolen from its internal websites following a hack on the organisation’s network.

The announcement comes days after hacking collective Anonymous claimed to have breached the government site, with ZDNet reporting that login information, IP addresses and contact information seemingly belonging to some 4,000 US bankers has been seized and published online by the group on Sunday.

The Fed did not comment on who was responsible for the incident but a spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters, "The Federal Reserve system is aware that information was obtained by exploiting a temporary vulnerability in a website vendor product."

"Exposure was fixed shortly after discovery and is no longer an issue. This incident did not affect critical operations of the Federal Reserve system," the spokeswoman said, adding that all the individuals whose privacy was compromised by the breach had been contacted.

OpLastResort - an affiliate of Anonymous - claimed responsibility for the incident on Sunday, with the assault coming as part of a series of attacks committed in the name of the late programmer, Aaron Swartz.

Swartz, who campaigned for the freedom to access information online, hanged himself in January over a year after being arrested for stealing academic documents from the online archive, JSTOR.