Data Breach at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Comes Under FBI Scanner for Possible Russian Linkage

J.P. Morgan (JPM)

Hacking of databases of at least two US financial institutions, one of which is JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), around mid-August has caused the federal authorities in the country to sit up and take notice. Having launched a full-fledged investigation, the loss was identified as being to the tune of several gigabytes of sensitive data during the preliminary stages itself.

What gives this incident an interesting twist is the possible involvement of high-level Russian entities that the FBI suspects of making an attempt at infiltration. Increasing sanctions by the West on the communist behemoth are being cited as a reason for having motivated this offensive. Having been described as “a feat several security experts said appeared far beyond the capability of ordinary criminal hackers”, success in breaking through several elaborate layers of high security was attributed to weak-point in the bank’s website named zero-day vulnerability.

J.P. Morgan (JPM)

Owing to its timing when Russian troops continue to fortify along the Ukrainian border and Western nations are reacting by placing sanctions and tightening the grip on Russian companies, this act is being interpreted as a possible attempt at retaliation. As regards JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) having been targeted, the logic that the bank had blocked a transaction between the Russian Embassy and a US-sanctioned bank seems explanatory enough.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) seems to be relatively unperturbed by the developments as its spokesperson Trish Wexler commented

“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.”

Whether or not it was in reaction to this but value of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) fell by 15 cents to be currently poised at $59.59 today.

The FBI spokesperson, J Peter Donald, reiterated the involvement of several security agencies in this investigation and said –

“We are working with the United States Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyber attacks against several American financial institutions. Combating cyber threats and criminals remains a top priority for the United States Government, and we are constantly working with American companies to fight cyber attacks.”

This article has been written by Vinita Basu.

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