A number of major financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase and allegedly four others, have been hit by cyber-attacks this month, according to the New York Times.
It appears that hackers breached their networks through a zero-day vulnerability in a bank website and did not disrupt banking services.
JPMorgan has not clearly confirmed it was a victim of the attack. â€œCompanies of our size unfortunately experience cyber-attacks nearly every day,â€ Patricia Wexler, a JPMorgan spokeswoman, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg.
The motivation of the offensive is under debate. The American financial sector has been an easy target in recent years, with the vast majority of attacks motivated by financial theft. But, amid the tensions between Russia and US, the hypothesis of a politically motivated attack has been taken into account.
Security experts also discuss the possibility of a data intelligence campaign.
â€œNot all hacking is about controlling systems to steal some money. Many third parties, including marketers, cybercriminals and governments, are keenly interested in collecting peopleâ€™s data and unlocking their full identity to blackmail or target the most vulnerable with more advanced cyber-attacks,â€ says Catalin Cosoi, Chief Security Strategist & Global Communications Director at Bitdefender.
The identity of the cyber-criminals behind the attack is still unknown. The FBI is investigating the incident, along with security experts brought in for forensic studies.