In July, JPMorgan Chase notified customers of a data breach but the latest number is staggering: 76 million personal and 7 million business accounts. Now the federal government's nosing around for answers with a company budget of $250 million a year in security protection.
JPMorgan Chase hacking affects 76 million personal accounts and 7 million business accounts, eclipsing Target's 40 million cardholders and 70 million customer accounts last year. However, the New York Times reminds people of one major difference: JPMorgan Chase doesn't just attack credit information. As a financial institution, information like loans applications, personal data information including social security numbers are now easy targets for those holding the information.
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In a document filed on Thursday, Oct. 2, the company noted that the 76 million accounts dwarfed the initial one million suspected in July. However, the paper notes that in the regulatory filing on Thursday, JPMorgan found "no evidence that account information, including passwords or Social Security numbers, had been taken" and "no evidence of fraud involving the use of customer information."
While comforting to the banking industry, the information doesn't necessarily help a hacked account holder feel secure. From now on, the holder will be forced to check credit reports to make no one has stolen money from accounts or opened new accounts in their name while ruining credit.
The Washington Post spoke to Brian Krebs, a cybersecurity expert, who informed uneasy JPMorgan Chase customers to beef up personal security and to take advantage of attacked companies’ offers on monitoring services. Also, use the credit fraud add-ons many cards offer, as well as identity protection products that do the time-consuming work for you. But before spending money or taking up offers, do research on your own on the people offering to protect your identity.
JP Morgan's chairman and chief executive has acknowledged the dangers in today's digital world where all information is accessible with a few keystrokes.
"We’re making good progress on these and other efforts, but cyberattacks are growing every day in strength and velocity across the globe," said Jamie Dimon in his annual shareholder letter. Even calling the constantly updating security and defending measures as "continual and likely never-ending."
And banks are forced to consistently reassure customers of security. Just last year, Bank of America was hacked. The JPMorgan breach initially occurred in June, but remained hidden until July.
Nevertheless, the company’s looking for some damage control right now. On Oct. 2, JPMorgan Chase forced the Times to retract erroneous statements of a second attack. Trish Wexler, a JPMorgan spokeswoman, said, “We are not aware of any new attacks.” That doesn’t mean the hackers have little left to do as they hold all the cards right now.
Dan Kaminsky told the Post that “we’ve migrated so much of our economy to computer networks because they are faster and more efficient.” But as a researcher and chief scientist at security company White Ops, he also warns the public that “there are side effects” to such efficiency.
Officials and investigators remain puzzled due to the lack of attack on individual accounts.
And in the case of any major breach, theories abound. Right now speculation rests on a possible Russian connection since the “hackers had already obtained the highest level of administrative privilege to dozens of the bank’s computer servers” and lifted information from 90 servers.
Thanks to the hacking, the Federal Bureau of Investigations now includes investigators on scene. Along with some state attorney generals. Pressure is definitely mounting as Wall Street's simultaneously watching. CNN Money notes that the stock still managed to rise 1.5% as the latest news broke.
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And JPMorgan’s lack of security showed that staff were leaving for other bank jobs and more expected to leave. After throwing out the $250 million on annual digital security costs to pacify investigator and shareholders, the company may want to think about competitively matching other offers to their staff…at least until the data is far more secure.