An investigation into last week’s JP Morgan data breach has revealed clues that hackers used a “global network of computers” for hire to reroute the data stolen from the bank to a major Russian city, according to sources close to the story.
A report published by Bloomberg explains: a “bulletproof” hosting stage platform allows for hackers to keep law enforcement agencies from tracing their origins and enables the use of computer systems around the world, from South America to Asia, to send commands in order to break into one of the most secure financial networks on Wall Street.
James Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, points out that the now-defunct Russian Business Network, had pulled off similar hack operations in the past, and was run by powerful figures in the Russia and allegedly protected by Russian authorities.
“It’s like the mafia,” Lewis told Bloomberg. “If this is RBN version 2.0 or even 3.0, then the U.S. government will be very concerned because it’s been a real pest before.”
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However, Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to reports of the Government involvement in the attacks, calling the claims “nonsense.” Despite obvious clues pointing to it, experts speculate this to be a ploy to shield the true nature of the attackers; Lewis says that Russia monitors its Internet even more than China, Bloomberg reported.
Investigators are exploring other possibilities and potential data breaches within other banks in the US. According to Darien Kindlund, director of threat research for FireEye, one of the firms assisting the investigation, “The working theory is that there’s a relationship with this organized-crime group linked to other state-sponsored targeted attacks, possibly including Russia.”
“We aren’t ruling out the possibility that there may be tools or infrastructure tying these attacks to other state-sponsored activity,” he said.
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(Image Credit: Sarath Kuchi)