MANHATTAN (CN) - A British man hacked the U.S. Federal Reserve and disseminated confidential information he obtained, the federal government claimed in an indictment Thursday.
Proseuctors say Lauri Love, 28, of Suffolk, England, worked with hackers from around the world to access the Federal Reserve's computer servers from October 2012 to February 2013 , then released the information - including names, email addresses and phone numbers - to a public website he controlled.
"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," U.S. Attorney Preet 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."
Love is accused of using a particular hacking method known as "sequel injection" to get into the Federal Reserve's system and steal personal information.
Using such names as "nsh," "peace," "shift," "route" and "Smedley Butler," Love openly discussed his hack in a chat room visited by other hackers around the world, according to the indictment.
On Dec. 31, 2012, Love sent several emails to others in the chat room stating that he had "shelled" (or infiltrated) the Federal Reserve's computer system, according to the indictment.
He also allegedly discussed possible options for using the information he accessed. Prosecutors say Love intended to deface the Federal Reserve's website and send fake emails to users.
Reportedly the son of a Baptist minister, Love was charged with one count of computer hacking and one count of aggravated identity theft. He faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted.
He was first arrested in October 2013 after the United States accused him of hacking computers belonging to NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the FBI.