- Title: USA-FILE-BANKS-HACKING JPMorgan and FBI investigate possible cyber attack
- Date: 28th August 2014
- Summary: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 28, 2014) (REUTERS) (MUTE) FBI STATEMENT
- Embargoed: 12th September 2014 13:00
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA4ZCO6UMX5PEEKCOAQ5UZIDUD9
- Story Text: JPMorgan Chase & Co is investigating a possible cyber attack and working with law enforcement authorities to determine the scope, a company spokeswoman said on Thursday (August 28) morning.
The bank was taking additional steps to safeguard sensitive or confidential information, though it did not see unusual fraud activity at this time, company spokeswoman Trish Wexler said.
Bruce McConnell, Senior Vice President of the East West Institute, a think tank, said hacking into business computers is very common.
"Banks like JPMorgan Chase have been attacked for the last five years in a variety of different kinds of attacks. This one has become public. But as I like to say, there are two kinds of companies, those that have been hacked and those that know they've been hacked. So we now know that JPMorgan Chase may have been hacked. But it's certainly not the first and it won't be the last."
JPMorgan disclosed the investigation after the FBI said Wednesday evening it was investigating media reports earlier in the day that several U.S. financial companies have been victims of recent cyber attacks.
"We are working with the United States Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyber attacks against several American financial institutions," FBI spokesman Joshua Campbell said in a statement late Wednesday.
Campbell did not name any companies or give more details, although media reports had named JPMorgan as one victim of the attacks. Other potential victims have yet to be named.
Officials with the Secret Service could not be reached for comment.
McConnell added that cyber attacks are not only common, they are on the rise.
"The reason that the attacks are on the rise is that the infrastructure is very insecure. So it's pretty easy for people to attack and get money by using cyber means. It's much safer to rob a bank using a computer than it is using a sub-machine gun."
JPMorgan launched its investigation after malicious software was recently discovered in the bank's network, signaling it was the victim of a cyber attack, two people familiar with the incident told Reuters. The bank has yet to determine the severity, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
Bloomberg News reported Wednesday that Russian hackers were believed to have carried out cyber attacks against JPMorgan and another unnamed U.S. bank in mid-August, resulting in the loss of sensitive data. Authorities were investigating whether the breaches were linked to recent attacks on major European banks, Bloomberg reported.
"We don't know actually to what extent the governments of Russia or China are involved in these kinds of attacks. But what we have observed is that attacks that are stealing money tend to come from computers based in Russia and Eastern Europe and attacks that are stealing intellectual property tend to come from computers based in China," said McConnell.
The New York Times reported late Wednesday the networks of JPMorgan and at least four other U.S. banks had been infiltrated in a string of coordinated attacks this month, citing four people familiar with the investigation.
The attackers stole large quantities of data, including checking and savings account information, though their motivation was not yet clear, the Times reported, adding that several private security firms were hired to conduct forensic reviews of infected networks.
Reuters was not able to independently verify the details in the Bloomberg and Times reports.
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