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Russian Hackers Steal From U.S. Banks

ByInigo Monzon
Aug 31, 2014 09:15 AM EDT

Russian hackers reportedly carried out a cyber attack on JPMorgan Chase and other banking institutions based in the U.S. on Wednesday, according to Tech News World.

During the incident, gigabytes of data were stolen from the banks.

Despite the report, JPMorgan did not confirm the attack or the theft of the institution's vital information. Spokesperson Michael F. Fusco did state, however, that JPMorgan's network is equipped with sophisticated defense systems designed to counter cyber attacks, Bloomberg reported.

"Companies of our size unfortunately experience cyber attacks nearly every day," Fusco said. "We have multiple layers of defense to counteract any threats and constantly monitor threat levels."

Currently, the FBI is looking into the matter and is collaborating with other government organizations for its investigation process.

"We are working with the United States Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyber attacks against several American financial institutions," FBI Special Agent Joshua Campbell explained.

Sources close to the investigation suggest that based on the evidence from the attacks, the hackers could be linked to either Russian government organizations or organized cyber criminal gangs.

Scott Borg, the CEO of the United States Cyber Consequences Unit explained that Russian authorities sometimes tolerate the acts of crime groups that are carried out for patriotic reasons, according to E-Commerce Times.

He added that the government and crime groups both have an army of hackers at their disposal. However, he clarified that the services of these hackers will only be utilized if it will benefit the current political environment of Russia.

In other words, he doesn't believe Russian authorities are the ones behind the attacks on the U.S. banks.

"Political events have shaped the target and the type of attack, but this is organized crime making a profit," Borg said.

"It's extremely unlikely that these attacks were carried out directly by Russian government or Russian military," he added. "It's just not their style."

Based on the type of information stolen from the banks, Borg believes the hackers plan to use the data to benefit from insider trading in the U.S. stock market.

"It's quite likely that what the attackers were after was not information that they'd use for bogus credit card charges or thefts from customer accounts, but information to be used to anticipate movement in the markets," he said.

"We've seen an increasing number of cyber attacks over the last three years that were directed at stealing information that could be used to make profit in the financial markets," Borg added.   

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