by Neil Bhardwaja
As the use of computers has skyrocketed in the past 10 years, so has the amount of hackers. In a new onslaught of hacking, JP Morgan, along with numerous other banks, were struck in a coordinated assault on August 28th. Several gigabytes of data was stolen, including checking and saving accounts of multiple people. The motives and origins of the hackers hasn’t been figured out yet, but the FBI is on the case.
The hackers infiltrated computer networks of several banks. The problem is that banks get cyberattacks all the time, so one of them is bound to get through the several layers of defense. It is not clear whether the motivation for this attack was money or to collect data in an act of espionage. Addressing these cyber-attacks is a top priority of the US government, because, when successful, these hacks are a major breach of our privacy.
The intrusions were first noticed by Bloomberg, a financial software and data company, who initially thought it to be the work of Russian cyber-criminals. This conclusion isn’t definitive because there isn’t enough evidence.
However, this could be the work of hackers in another country. In the past 2 years, American banks have been targeted by politically motivated Iranian hackers. These cyber-criminals flooded US websites with so much online traffic that most websites slowed or even crashed. This attack was believed to be a cover for the Iranian government, who were starting online firefights in retaliation against Western economic sanctions.
Banks have been attacked more frequently due to the fact that they have access to a vast amount of information. Many governments and hackers collect information for espionage. In 2012, Russian security researchers uncovered viruses in over 2500 banks, and most of them were inside major Lebanese banks such as the Bank of Beirut.
If the banks don’t strengthen their security, these attacks will be more commonplace, and more and more people will have sensitive information stolen. Just recently, even Home Depot has been cyberattacked.