JPMorgan Chase, America's largest bank, is investigating whether its computer systems were hacked in what could be the latest sign corporate America is failing to keep up with global security threats. Conway G. Gittens reports.
JPMorgan Chase says it is working with federal authorities to probe a possible cyber attack. America's largest bank came short of admitting its systems were hacked, but did say it was taking additional steps to safeguard sensitive or confidential data, even though it was not seeing what it called unusual fraud activity. But sources close to the bank say malicious software was discovered on JPMorgan's network. And Russian hackers are believed to be the origin of the attack, according to Bloomberg News. If that's true - it will certainly fit a certain pattern, explains Bruce McConnell of the East West Institute. SOUNDBITE: BRUCE MCCONNELL, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, EAST WEST INSTITUTE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Well, we don't know to what extent the governments of Russia or China are involved in these kinds of attacks but what we have observed is that attacks that are stealing money come from computers based in Russia and Eastern Europe and attacks that are stealing intellectual property tend to come from computers based in China." REPORTER STAND-UP: CONWAY G. GITTENS, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "One security expert I spoke to says an attack on a U.S. bank like JPMorgan Chase strikes at the heart of the financial system and poses a national security risk. The bank says it reaches one out of every six Americans through its consumer banking division." But others experts say industrial hackings are commonplace and less of a national security risk and more like a security nuisance. Companies have been spending heavily to block attacks. The Wall Street Journal says JPMorgan spends $200 million a year on protection. But companies just can't keep up with hackers, says McConnell. SOUNDBITE: BRUCE MCCONNELL, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, EAST WEST INSTITUTE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It is easy to hide in cyber space number one. Number two: often times you can get in by fooling an employee into responding to an email that looks authentic about local pension plan of the bank, but it comes from someone else - they click on the attachment - there's malware inside the system now of the bank, and from there the attackers get from where they need to go."