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Hackers Probing Financial System’s Defenses Show Why Everyone Should Worry

Hackers are testing the financial system’s cyber defenses, and they can boast of some alarming success.

Let’s start with what we know. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) says a breach of its computer systems exposed the personal information of 76 million households and 7 million small businesses. The intrusion lasted from June until sometime in August, so hackers had more than a month to nose around. They accessed names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses, although the bank says there’s no evidence they compromised account information, passwords or Social Security numbers, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its December issue.

And keep in mind: JPMorgan is a giant, profitable bank with a reputation as one of the best companies in the world at cybersecurity.

Even more worrisome is what we don’t know -- about the intrusion at JPMorgan, the hackers who did it and the potential vulnerability of the entire financial system. The bank has said little publicly about the breach beyond its description of the customer information that was and was not compromised and an assurance the company is cooperating with government investigations. U.S. intelligence agencies, federal prosecutors and attorneys general from at least two states have all launched probes. More...

11-02-2014 16:43