Report: Russians Hack JPMorgan Chase

Mid-August Attack Also Reportedly Affected Another Bank
Report: Russians Hack JPMorgan Chase

Russian hackers stole data from JPMorgan Chase and at least one other bank in a mid-August attack against the U.S. financial system, according to a Bloomberg news report.

See Also: Deception-Based Threat Detection: Shifting Power to the Defenders

The FBI is investigating whether the attacks were possible retaliation for U.S.-sponsored economic sanctions against Russia, Bloomberg reports, citing two people familiar with the probe.

When contacted by Information Security Media Group, the FBI declined to comment on the news report.

JPMorgan Chase is the largest financial institution in the U.S., with $2.48 trillion in total assets as of March 31, according to the FFIEC.

The attack allegedly resulted in the loss of "gigabytes" of sensitive data, Bloomberg reports. Authorities are also investigating whether recent intrusions of major European banks using a similar vulnerability are also linked to the U.S. attack, according to the report.

Information possibly compromised from the networks of the banks includes checking and savings account information, The New York Times reports.

One of the alleged bank compromises involved hackers exploiting a zero-day vulnerability, the news report states. The hackers then worked their way through layers of security to steal sensitive information, "a feat security experts said appeared far beyond the capability of ordinary criminal hackers," according to the report.

While Chase did not immediately respond to ISMG's requests for a statement, bank spokeswoman Patricia Wexler told Bloomberg: "Companies of our size unfortunately experience cyber-attacks nearly every day. We have multiple layers of defense to counteract any threats and constantly monitor fraud levels."

Al Pascual, director of fraud and security for consultancy Javelin Strategy & Research, says it's too early to know exactly what or who allegedly attacked Chase. But given the defenses Chase likely has in place, it's very probable that if such an attack indeed occurred, it likely would be backed by a nation-state or some other powerful adversary, he says.

"The odds of success in attacking a bank's defenses head-on for financial gain are very low, which is why criminals often opt to focus on the customer instead," Pascual says. "If a considerable attack was directed an financial institution, I would suspect that it was motivated by esoteric goals or was possibly even state-sponsored. We don't know enough just yet to really say more than that, but as we have seen from the attack on NASDAQ and the DDoS [distributed-denial-of-service] attacks of a year ago, that our financial system is a prime target for cybercriminals and nation-states alike."

Executive Editor Tracy Kitten contributed to this news story.

About the Author

Jeffrey Roman

Jeffrey Roman

News Writer, ISMG

Roman is the former News Writer for Information Security Media Group. Having worked for multiple publications at The College of New Jersey, including the College's newspaper "The Signal" and alumni magazine, Roman has experience in journalism, copy editing and communications.

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