Extent Of JPMorgan Breach Still Under Investigation (JPM)

This summer, JPMorgan was the victim of a hacker attack that left scores of customer information vulnerable. Now, several months after the attack, the extent of the breach is still being investigated. Security experts have been hired to conduct an investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has become involved in the case. Unfortunately, much is still unknown about the breach and the people behind it.

Financial regulators were briefed on the progress of the investigation last week. Dozens of the bank’s servers were compromised during the security breach and the hackers potentially gained a window into how the bank’s individual computers work. Once the hackers gained access into the system, they secured high-level administrative privileges that basically allowed them to do whatever they wanted with the information they accessed. While it is doubtful that the hackers were able to gain access to customer’s financial information or Social Security numbers, account holders’ names, addresses and phone numbers were exposed.

After gaining entry, the hackers could review information on nearly a million customer accounts or see a list of the software applications installed on the bank’s computers. A potential danger lies in the ability of the hackers to crosscheck JPMorgan programs and applications with known security flaws that they can exploit to regain access to the computers. It is very difficult for a company the size of JPMorgan to find every last vulnerability in every program that they run on every computer.

JPMorgan has vowed to ensure that its systems are secured against future attack. Investigators believe the attack had been planned for months and may have involved a foreign government. The fact that no money was taken suggested that the attack was either a case of state-sponsored espionage or that the criminals were stopped before they could start draining customer accounts. JPMorgan is currently the largest bank in the United States.

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