October 22, 2014

5 Banks Allegedly Victims of a Cyberattack

banks allegedly victims of cyberattack

Cybercrime is a growing problem.  It seems like everyday you hear of a new hacking attack.  Even the largest banks are not immune.  Now comes news of five financial institutions allegedly being victims of a cyberattack.

The attack on the financial institutions was sophisticated in nature. Hackers were able to abscond with sensitive information. This included checking and savings account information in what amounts to gigabytes of data.

The FBI has launched an investigation into the cyberattack on these banking institutions. But, so far, no other bank other than JP Morgan Chase & Co. has been specifically identified as a victim.

Expert sources tell The New York Times that it’s believed that the attack was successful in pilfering checking and savings account information. In all, gigabytes of data were hacked in this latest major cyberattack.

The FBI has also involved the Secret Service and additional security experts in the investigation, reports the Associated Press. These security experts are helping the government determine who is responsible for these attacks on U.S. banks. They will also try determine attackers’ motivations.

The investigation into attacks on at least two of the banks could be centering on Russian hackers. Authorities say the attack was definitely not the work of ordinary cybercriminals. Hackers were able to use a software flaw called a zero-day vulnerability to bypass bank security in one instance, and easily circumvented other bank security measures as well.

However, banking authorities and government officials are working to trace the attacks and monitor fraud levels.  According the New York Times report:

“JPMorgan has not seen any increased fraud levels, one person familiar with the situation said.

‘Companies of our size unfortunately experience cyberattacks nearly every day,’ said Patricia Wexler, a JPMorgan spokeswoman. ‘We have multiple layers of defense to counteract any threats and constantly monitor fraud levels.’ Joshua Campbell, an F.B.I. spokesman, said the agency was working with the Secret Service to assess the full scope of attacks. ‘Combating cyberthreats and criminals remains a top priority for the United States government,’ he said.”

The timing of the attack suggests a connection with Russian companies, including some of the country’s banks, put in a stranglehold by U.S.-backed sanctions against the country, authorities say.

There has been an uptick in the number of attempted cyberattacks traced to Russia and other eastern European countries since tensions have risen between Russia and Ukraine.

Bloomberg originally reported only two U.S. banking institutions were victims of attacks, which apparently took place in mid-August. Later the number of possible banks targeted by the attacks had risen to at least five, the New York Times reports.

Bank Photo via Shutterstock

6 Comments ▼

Joshua Sophy - Staff Writer


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering technology and business news. He is a journalist and editor with 15 years experience in media. A former newspaper reporter and editor, Joshua also serves as President of the Board of Directors of a curling club and is editor of a regional newsletter focused on the sport of curling in the Eastern U.S.

6 Reactions

  1. Are we really just better off hiding our money under our beds, pillows, bras? If JP Morgan Chase & Co of all heavyweights can get hacked, then…

  2. While it is all great that these banks are able to store information electronically, it seems that by doing this, they are making their data susceptible for attacks like these. While we can all hope for a more secure way of doing this, I think a foolproof way to store information is still left undiscovered.

    • If the hackers were that sophisticated, then the banks are gonna have to sharpen up and always strive to stay one step ahead. I was also wondering if this could be a partial inside job too. Though they’re hinting at some Russian companies, who’s to say whoever they were didn’t get some help from the inside.

  3. Seriously? Cyber attackers aren’t even sparing top notch banks! It only shows how vulnerable even big organizations like bigger banks have become. I’m not arguing that digital information is bad, even I store my data on the cloud often, but since this is happening, banks must beef up their digital security to an optimum level.

  4. A serious condition to take note of, as cyber criminals are taking its toll on top notch banks too, where it is getting possible to save hard earned money of the public. if appropriate actions are not taken to safeguard the money, then customers will resort to their own safety.

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