Major US banks suffered data breach due to Russian hackers

August 20th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

JPMorgan Chase and other bank were breached by Russian hackers who stole gigabytes of sensitive data which includes savings and checking account information as well as information on bank employees.

Highlights of the incident:

The FBI is investigating whether the attacks may have been launched in retaliation for U.S. government sanctions

“Russia has a policy of reactionary attacks in relation to political contexts,” iSight Partners manager John Hultquist told Bloomberg. “When it comes to countries outside their sphere of influence, those attacks would be more surreptitious.”

At least five banks were hit

“Companies of our size unfortunately experience cyber attacks nearly every day,” JPMorgan spokesperson Patricia Wexler told the Times. “We have multiple layers of defense to counteract any threats and constantly monitor fraud levels.”

Breach was accomplished either via a zero day exploit or via the exploitation of an unsecured employee to access

“At the end of the day, serious attackers, not just cyber punks who try to steal credit card information, will go to great lengths and spend immense amounts of money in order to reach their target, employing not only lessons learned from online criminals over the last 20 years but also decades worth of espionage and social engineering tactics,” Kujawa head of malware intelligence at Malwarebytes Labs said. “The best defense against these attackers is to fortify cyber defenses on every front, the education and access control of any users and finally an awareness and preparedness for any and all attacks that might be encountered.”

Very few enterprises are sufficiently equipped to defend themselves

“In fact, I would say that more than 90 percent of all organizations are completely vulnerable; they simply do not have the tools or the staff to deal with this kind of attack,” Triumfant CEO John Prisco said.

War-game’ on an ongoing basis to make sure new vulnerabilities aren’t missed

“The next stage in the arms race, for both attackers and defenders, is automation — not just searching for gaps, but figuring out the consequences of those gaps, in much the same way that generals study a battlefield before the battle starts,” RedSeal Networks CTO Mike Lloyd said.

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Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

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