The U.S. Federal Reserve detected more than 50 cyber breaches between 2011 and 2015, with several incidents described internally as “espionage.” The Reuters scoop, by reporters Jason Lange and Dustin Volz, was covered widely in the press and prompted a U.S. congressional committee to launch an investigation citing Reuters reporting.
Jason offers a behind-the-scenes look at how their process.
How did you land this exclusive? What types of reporting/sourcing were involved in the story?
Jason: We know the prospect of a major cyber-attack keeps top U.S. officials up at night and the government puts a lot of effort into preventing this. That means documents are kept detailing their efforts, so we submitted Freedom of Information Act requests asking for internal cybersecurity reports. We were particularly interested in the Federal Reserve because it is probably the financial system’s most important institution. The Fed handed over a 2,239 page PDF. I focused initially on converting the PDF into a database that we could analyze, and Dustin Volz began asking cybersecurity experts what the data could tell us.
The Big Picture: Reuters covering Central Banks
As the world’s central banks resort to ultra-low interest rates and unprecedented stimulus programs to boost the global economy, Reuters provides real-time coverage that you can trust. Here are some of our recent stories:
- Reuters reported exclusively that France’s top lenders are suing the European Central Bank to reduce capital demands.
- Reuters was first to report that Mexico’s banking system maintains reasonable capital levels when subject to adverse scenarios in recent stress tests.
- Reuters revealed that Malaysia demanded foreign banks commit to stop offshore ringgit trading.
- Reuters was ahead on the Bank of Japan’s policy decision in September, triggering an immediate surge in the dollar against the yen.
- Reuters reported exclusively that the world’s top central banks launched a task force to explore setting rules to protect the vast network of cross-border banking from cyber attacks.
- Reuters exclusively reported that big Wall Street banks are asking the U.S. Federal Reserve to grant them an additional five-year grace period to comply with the Volcker rule.
- Reuters revealed that Greece approved a further relaxation of its capital restrictions, making headway on bailout-mandated reforms and confidence in its banking system returns.