JPMorgan (JPM) now says hackers had access to the personal records of 76 million households and 7 million small businesses in the U.S. Hackers obtained access to names, addresses, email accounts and any internal information. Various sources are reporting hackers had the highest administrative level access to dozens of JP Morgan servers. In effect hackers had run of the place but apparently haven’t stolen anything. At least not yet.
Actually JPMorgan didn't say this so much as have it exposed. The company revealed this disturbing security breach not in a press conference or statement, but rather an SEC filing. The New York Times picked up on the story and JPMorgan spent yesterday alternating between spin-control and obfuscation.
This wasn’t a new attack, just further details on the one we heard about in August. It started in June, lasted until late July and seems to have been perpetrated by "Southern Europeans possibly sponsored by the Russian government." At least we sort of hope so because the level of sophistication and restraint on display goes way beyond your standard phishing scheme. Nothing has been stolen. This wasn’t a cash grab or attempt to get your Target (TGT) debit card information. This is bigger.
If you're wondering whether or not the list of victims includes you the answer is probably yes. There are only about 120 million households in the country. There are 28 million small businesses of which more than 75% are based from home. If you have a bank account or house, basically if you're anywhere "on the grid" you can assume hackers have an email account and address with your name on it.
All you can do personally is be paranoid without panicking.
Change your passwords, check your bank accounts and visit your bank in person. Don’t trust any emails you get with links. Basically don’t trust anyone online. Ever.
It's become clear that cyber-security is an oxymoronic term. The Internet is an enormous, gross public bathhouse of information and we’re all roaming around naked. We live in a post-privacy, post-embarrassment world. Big Brother isn’t just watching you. He’s hanging out in your living room with your wife and kids, throwing a ball for your dog and sifting through your bank accounts.
That nothing has been stolen is the creepiest aspect of this. These hackers had a month to take whatever they wanted yet chose to hold out for something more. Whatever the real goal is it probably goes beyond gutting your accounts. That’s probably not a good thing.