FBI suspects Russian hand in cyber-attacks on JP Morgan, others
28 August 2014
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looking into whether Russian hackers staged a cyber-attack on major Wall Street businesses this month in retaliation for US sanctions imposed over Ukraine.
The Russian hackers allegedly stole large amounts of sensitive data from JP Morgan Chase and at least one other bank, a Bloomberg report said on Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the investigation. The FBI is also reportedly looking into possible links to recent hacking of large European financial institutions.
The sophistication of the attacks appeared to be beyond the capability of normal criminal hackers. That has fuelled suspicion that the operations may have been launched in retaliation for the US imposition of tougher sanctions on Russian banks and companies for Moscow's aggression over Ukraine.
Other federal agencies, including the National Security Agency, are reportedly aiding the investigation.
A JP Morgan spokeswoman for the bank told Bloomberg, ''Companies of our size unfortunately experience cyber attacks nearly every day. We have multiple layers of defence to counteract any threats and constantly monitor fraud levels.''
There has been a rise in the number of cyber attacks US financial institutions this year from Russia and Eastern Europe as relations have deteriorated between Washington and Moscow during the Ukraine crisis.
The Telegraph reported this summer that the biggest new threat to America's banking system was Evgeniy Bogachev, a hacking mastermind who was thought to be running the most sophisticated cybercrime network the world has ever seen from his home on Russia's Black Sea coast.
His face appeared on the FBI "most wanted" page this summer and the total haul for his cyber crimes was estimated at more than $100 million.
JP Morgan Chase was singled out for criticism by the foreign ministry in Moscow for blocking a payment from a Russian embassy to the affiliate of a US sanctioned bank.
Russian hackers have previously launched wide-ranging attacks against targets in Georgia and Estonia during crises between those countries and Moscow.