US Federal Reserve targeted by hackers 50 times in 5 years
The US Fed maintains that internal information has not been accessed by outside entitiesGetty Images

The US Federal Reserve has repeatedly been targeted by hackers in the past few years. Several of the attempts made to breach the Federal Reserve's security system have been designated as "espionage", according to Fed records.

Cybersecurity reports obtained by Reuters via a Freedom of Information Act request highlight that the US Fed has been targeted with cyberattacks over 50 times between 2011 and 2015. According to the records, the bank's employees suspected that hackers or spies were behind several attempts at breaching the bank's security system. It is uncertain if the breaches resulted in hackers gaining access to classified data, as the records obtained were heavily redacted and refrained from divulging such details.

A spokesperson for the Federal Reserve told CNNMoney: "As with other government agencies, the Federal Reserve is a target for cyberattacks. However, our security programme and processes for detecting and countering attacks are robust and our critical operations have never been affected."

Although the central bank has 12 other privately owned branches under its wing, the records only pertained to cases involving the Washington-based Board of Governors, which is a federal agency and therefore subject to public record laws.

The Fed records also indicate that four hacking incidents in 2012 were labelled "espionage". As many as 134 attacks were designated "malicious code", while another 12 were labelled "fraud". An additional dozen were stamped "informational", while one stood out as being labelled "extortion". Fifty-one cases of "information disclosure" were also identified. The term information disclosure is generally tied to data breaches in the cybersecurity community.

However, the Fed maintains that internal information has not been accessed by outside entities.

The report of the cyberattacks comes at a time when the financial community is already on alert, following recent cyberheists as well as targeted attacks on international banks across the world. The Bangladesh Bank heist, which saw hackers making away with $81m has left the financial community in shock and highlighted the need for increased security measures.