FBI probes Russian link in hacking case

Business Times

NEW YORK: Hackers, believed to be from Russia, broke into the computer systems of JPMorgan Chase and a second United States bank earlier this month, sparking a federal investigation, US media reported on Wednesday.

Bloomberg said two people familiar with the probe confirmed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was examining the case to see if it is retaliation for US sanctions against Moscow over its support of Ukraine’s secessionist rebels.

Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal, which also reported the hacking case but without naming Russians as behind it, said it was not clear what damage the hackers caused or what data they may have stolen.

Bloomberg said the hackers showed a high level of skill to get through layers of security in the bank’s systems, “a feat several security experts said appeared far beyond the capability of ordinary criminal hackers”.

It said investigators, who also include the National Security Agency, are also studying whether the attack may have come from criminals in Russia or eastern Europe.

They are also examining whether the online break-in is related to similar incidents involving European banks.

The FBI said they were investigating the reports.

“We are working with the Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyber attacks against several American financial institutions,” said spokesman J. Peter Donald.

“Combating cyber threats and criminals remains a top priority for the US government.” AFP