Earlier this month, several major U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in America, fell victim to sophisticated hackers who infiltrated the banks’ software systems and stole customers’ checking and savings information, as well as other sensitive information, according to reports.
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According to a report from Bloomberg, the hackers reportedly stole gigabytes of customer data that could potentially drain the banks’ funds, as well as sensitive information from employees’ computers; however, it remains unclear whether the stolen data included credit card numbers or other financial data that can easily be sold.
A spokeswoman for JPMorgan, Patricia Wexler, told Bloomberg that the bank has not noticed any unusual signs of fraud following the attack; however, the bank has taken measures to prevent similar attacks from occurring and will be contacting all customers who could potentially be affected by the breach.
Because banks have elaborate security systems to protect customers’ financial information, attacks on these corporations are rare and criminals typically steal this data from retailers or personal computers. This attack, however, was “far beyond the capability of ordinary criminal hackers” because the criminals bypassed several levels of security to access the stolen data, according to security experts who spoke with Bloomberg. In at least one attack, the hackers reportedly took advantage of what’s known as a “zero-day” software flaw, which allows them to take command of computers from remote locations and access sensitive information.
The FBI is currently investigating whether the attack may have been the result of the United States imposing sanctions on Russia. Reports indicate that the breach occurred at a difficult point in relations between the United States and Russia.
An unnamed source told Bloomberg that “at least one of the banks has linked the breach to Russian state-sponsored hackers.” Due to the nature of the breach and because it’s still unclear whether there have been any financial losses, investigators believe that the Russian government may be behind all of the breaches and using the attacks as a political move.