Was JPMorgan Chase hack for politics or cash?

The FBI is investigating whether cyber-attacks on JPMorgan Chase and at least one other American bank were carried out in retaliation for government-imposed sanctions on Russia.

Was JPMorgan Chase hack for politics or cash?

According to Bloomberg, the attacks took place in the middle of this month and resulted in the financial institutions losing “gigabytes of sensitive data”.

The outlet alleges that in one case the hackers used a zero-day flaw in one of the banks’ websites to breach its security systems and steal the data – a feat its security sources claim “appeared far beyond the capability of ordinary criminal hackers”.

According to Bloomberg’s sources, “the sophistication of the attack and technical indicators extracted from the banks’ computers provide some evidence of a government link”.

Common criminals or government agents?

While Bloomberg’s sources have been suggesting this is a state-sponsored attack, others are not so sure.

Amichai Shulman, CTO at security firm Imperva, pointed out state-sponsored retaliatory attacks are normally disruptive, DDoS-type scenarios.

“I find it odd that someone who was actually able to break into a bank is not using it for making immediate profit,” he told the BBC.

“Everyone is trying hard to tie this with the whole political situation with Russia. However, it is well known that for a few years now, a large portion of banking attacks and financially related hacking has consistently been coming from Eastern Europe,” he added.

For their part, the FBI has confirmed only that it is working with the US Secret Service “to determine the scope of recently reported cyber attacks against several American financial institutions”.

JPMorgan Chase spokeswoman Trish Wexler, meanwhile, said only: “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.”

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