Banks are supposed to be among the most secure places on earth, guarded against physical attacks and cyber intrusions by extensive security measures.
But after JPMorgan Chase, the country's largest bank, said this week that more than 80 million customers were affected by a breach of its computer system, security experts warn that Wall Street remains vulnerable to cyberattacks and other industries may be even worse off. The JPMorgan attack affected significantly more people than many experts initially expected, making it one of the largest breaches of a financial institution in recent history.
"As you'd expect, banks face a lot of scrutiny in terms of regulation -- and they do spend a lot of money on security," says Ben Johnson, an expert at cybersecurity firm Bit9+CarbonBlack.
"Credit cards and retailers are obviously one huge target right now," he said, "but banks have all sorts of financial and personal information" that make them attractive to hackers.
JPMorgan said that 76 million households and 7 million small businesseswere affected by the cyberattack, which was first reported in August. There was no indication that hackers were able to take customers account information, including PINs or Social Security numbers, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. However, hackers did get their hands on customer names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses -- plus internal bank information “relating to such user,” according to the filing.
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