10/13/2014 Defence IQ Press
Last week J. P. Morgan revealed that the private data of 76 million households had been “compromised” in one of the biggest cyber breaches yet. While the cyber attack is one of the largest in terms of numbers of people affected, the US bank said there was “no evidence” that account numbers, dates of birth and social security numbers were accessed and reports “not to have seen any unusual customer fraud related to this incident.”
The breach has hastened calls for stricter data protection legislation to be passed. Edward Markey, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts said “the data breach that has occurred is unacceptable,” according to the Financial Times. He said, “J. P. Morgan Chase should immediately assess the extent to which customer information might have been taken, notify its customers without delay, and shore up its data security.”
The bank’s CEO James Dimon has since promised to double spending on cyber security, which is currently around $250 million per annum. Reversing the onus of the comments from senator Markey, Dimon said that the government should be doing more to help businesses address cyber crime.
“We need help and [need to continue] working together with the government,” Dimon said in his first publicised comments since the cyber attack during an Institute of International Finance panel discussion. “The government knows more than we do.”
A number of other financial institutions are believed to have been affected by the attack although no details have been released. It could be as many as nine according to the New York Times.
Russia is believed to be behind the cyber attack as part of a wider strategy to destabilise and disable commercial and state actors in cyberspace. Russia has been increasingly relying on cyber warfare and cyber espionage as part of its foreign policy goals. For example, Russian intervention in Ukraine was preceded by a cyber attack launched against the country’s communication systems. Some US officials have speculated that the attacks were in retaliation for the sanctions against Russia as part of the on-going Ukrainian crisis.
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