The financial information of over 76 million households has been compromised, leaving countless customers at risk after this summer’s cyber-attack on JPMorgan Chase. Seven million small-business accounts are also affected, making this hack one of the largest corporate breaches ever discovered. Previous incidences of hacking allowed gained access to roughly 1 million customer accounts.
Within a span of three months JPMorgan has been hacked on multiple occasions, unraveling the confidence in its security. As one of at least five U.S banks targeted by hackers who stole gigabytes of data, JPMorgan Chase announced that contract information was compromised. As the severity of the hack was realized and new information surfaced, top executives abandoned a leadership conference in Naples, Fla., and flew to New York.
JPMorgan suspected the breach in late July, but by then hackers had already gained access to the highest level of privilege to their systems. The number of hackers who gained deep access to the bank’s computer network is unknown.
Hackers are assumed to have made off with a list of the applications and programs every standard JPMorgan computer runs. Using this, hackers could capitalize on known vulnerabilities within programs and applications in search of an avenue into the bank’s systems.
JPMorgan’s breach affirms the global financial system’s vulnerability to cybercrime. Just recently, Target and Home Depot were hacked on a smaller, albeit still dangerous, scale. In this case, however, the hackers, foraging deep into JPMorgan’s computer systems, accessed the accounts of more than 90 servers.
Unlike Home Depot and Target, JPMorgan maintains sensitive financial information about customers. The lack of evidence in the loss of customer finances befuddles law enforcement investigators. They speculated that the hackers were sponsored by foreign governments possibly in Russia or southern Europe.
According to those briefed on the matter, it will be months before the bank can completely swap out its programs and applications and renegotiate licensing contracts with technology suppliers. Provided this amount of time, hackers could uncover the bank system’s unexplored vulnerabilities permitting them subsequent reentry into JPMorgan’s systems. This would put JPMorgan Chase customers at risk down the line.
JPMorgan’s filing of the breach incident claims passwords, social security numbers , and other account information were not seized. However, customer names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses were obtained. They said no indication has arisen of customers’ money being taken. They have updated the Federal Reserve and other regulators on the magnitude of the breach.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation sprang into action to investigation the original hack. Wall Street, another frequent target for hackers recently, is also working to safeguard against the threats. The bank believes it has secured all its systems. They are not advising customers to change account information or passwords at this time. The company also said they have not observed any unusual fraudulent activity like that of recent attacks on retailers.
The hacks cause JPMorgan Chase to consider reasonable and appropriate security measures to safeguard personal information. Customers will be demanding to know the details of the bank’s efforts to protect their information and their money. Many will have questions about what they should do and whether they should take their business elsewhere. Many will wait it out relying on their trust in JPMorgan Chase’s recuperation. Some JPMorgan Chase customers may also feel the risk is not be that great at all.
By Charice Long