JPMorgan Hackers Also Hit Over a Dozen Other Financial Firms

The Financial Times reports that 13 other financial institutions, including Fidelity Investments, were also targeted by the same hackers who recently stole 76 million households’ information from JPMorgan Chase.

The FBI and the Secret Service are investigating the attacks, though a Fidelity spokesman told the FT that no customer information appears to have been accessed.

“We take security very seriously and closely monitor the online environment,” the spokesman said. “Fidelity has a range of safeguards and multiple layers of security in place to protect customer accounts and information, our sites, and systems. For security reasons, some of those protections are visible and some are not.”

Bloomberg reports the the Financial Services Information and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) provided other financial institutions with the IP addresses used by the JPMorgan hackers, in order to help those companies assess whether they were also targeted.

Other companies hit by the same hackers, according to Bloomberg, included Citigroup, HSBC, E*Trade, Regions Financial and ADP. The New York Times adds Bank of the West to that list.

ADP spokesman Jim Duffy told the New York Times that his company had “observed Internet-based traffic from those criminals allegedly reported” to have hit JPMorgan, though Duffy said ADP hadn’t “observed any issues associated with such scanning of our defenses.”

By email, Triumfant CEO John Prisco said this is a bad situation that just keeps getting worse. “There are very few enterprises that are well equipped to defend themselves against just about any cyber attack, never mind one clearly executed by a sophisticated group of hackers with a master plan,” he said. “Gone are the days when a tool like anti-virus was a good enough security solution and hopefully this serves as a proper wake-up call to the industry.”

Eric Cowperthwaite, vice president of advanced security and strategy at Core Security, told eSecurity Planet by email that it’s crucial to determine who’s behind these attacks — and why.

“This is clearly not your average band of hackers,” Cowperthwaite said. “It’s highly unlikely that a criminal organization could launch that many sophisticated attacks simultaneously. We have seen this level of attack between nation-states, when China has targeted U.S. government organizations and when Russia launched attacks on Georgia and Estonia a few years ago. What we are seeing now is the same level of sophistication and capability deployed against businesses.”

With about 85 percent of all network security infrastructure now in private hands, Cowperthwaite said, something needs to change. “If we are truly seeing nation state attacks turn against private institutions, the organizations making up that 85 percent need to take action to improve their security posture,” he said. “At the moment, they simply aren’t ready for this type of attack — a fact that was recently highlighted by the Community Health Systems breach.”

“JPMorgan is the canary in the coal mine, and the canary just died,” Cowperthwaite added. “Critical infrastructure organizations can’t afford to ignore this warning.”

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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