JPMorgan’s Data Breach to Affect 76 Million Households, Prompting Doubts Over Network Security

October 6th, 2014

JPMorgan Chase has become the latest major corporate entity to suffer a cyberattack that has exposed the personal information and data of as many as 76 million households and 7 million small businesses across America.

According to the New York Times, JPMorgan announced last week that the data breach took place over the summer. The news, which follows similar massive data leaks at Target and Home Depot, continues to erode many consumers' confidence in the effectiveness of network security systems at large corporations.

JPMorgan's data breach stands apart from similar breaches at retail companies, however -- as the country's largest bank, JPMorgan's databases contain their customer's private banking information such as account numbers, passwords and Social Security numbers.

In its statement, JPMorgan maintained that their customers' sensitive banking details were not compromised in the data breach of their network security systems, according to the New York Times.

Yet the information that was exposed -- customers' addresses, phone numbers and other information -- could still allow hackers to steal their identities. At press time, JPMorgan stated it has detected no evidence of customer fraud in its system.

How are the nation's largest corporations -- companies that undoubtedly have the budget required to invest in high-security and advanced computer services -- still falling victim to these data breaches?

“We’ve migrated so much of our economy to computer networks because they are faster and more efficient, but there are side effects,” Dan Kaminsky, a researcher and network security specialist at White Ops, a network security management company, said.

According to the New York Times, JPMorgan's hackers operated from overseas. They somehow obtained a "road map" of JPMorgan's computer applications and programs, a list of computer services the company uses. The hackers then crosschecked this list with known weaknesses in the programs to find a way in to the bank's databases.

The cyberattack reveals much about the weakness that even the largest financial entities possess against computer hackers -- and does little to improve consumer wariness of how secure their data may be.