Investigators at JPMorgan Chase have discovered a worldwide network of cybercriminal computers for hire was used in the August hack of the nation’s largest bank, which funneled gigs of data from bank executives and other employee computers to a large city in Russia.
Sources “familiar with the probe” told Bloomberg the latest results from the bank’s internal investigation indicate hackers controlled computers from Latin America to Asia to flush a stream of malware past JPMorgan’s security, and reroute stolen data to Russia. (RELATED: FBI, NSA Investigating Whether Russia Hacked U.S. Banks To Retaliate For Sanctions)
A source cited in the report described the attack’s cyber staging ground as “bulletproof,” because of its ability to obscure hackers’ identities and resist outside attacks and law enforcement. The same network has reportedly been used in other bank attacks by Eastern European cybercriminals.
Former NSA/U.S. Cyber Command chief and cybersecurity consultant Keith Alexander said the success of such an attack highlights just how “vulnerable” the U.S. financial sector is, and how future attacks could result in significantly more damage.
“If you can steal the data — if you can reach in that far and steal it — you can do anything else you want,” Alexander told Bloomberg. “You collapse one bank and our financial structure collapses.” (RELATED: Ex-NSA Chief Keith Alexander Says JPMorgan Hack Proves U.S. Financial System Is ‘Vulnerable’)
The FBI and NSA are also investigating the attack, which left behind evidence of the use of a Russian data center.