Major U.S. Bank Hacks: Gigabytes Of Customer Data Stolen, Russia's Government Possibly Involved

By Barry Eitel , Updated Aug 28, 2014 02:59 PM EDT

Russian hackers have attacked the computer systems of five major American banking institutions, including JP Morgan Chase. The hackers were able to nab terabytes of personal data of the bank's customers.

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The banks are bringing several security agencies in for assistance, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to the news broken by Bloomberg.

Even scarier, the sophistication of the attack suggests some involvement from the Russian government, sources say. Relations between the United States and Russia are near a Cold War chilliness, with the U.S. leading a series of harsh economic sanctions against the Kremlin due to involvement in the hostilities in Eastern Ukraine. Russia also recently granted residency to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

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Russia has a history of cyberattacking countries it has issues with.

"The way the Russians do it, to the extent we can see into the process, is they encourage certain targets," James Lewis, the director of the Strategic Technologies program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., told Bloomberg. "The Russians typically keep open the options to do something more, and the question now is what would trigger that and what would our response be."

Shares in Chase fell today, although the bank is attempting to assuage fears by claiming that its security fends off hacking attacks on a daily basis.

The FBI have declined to comment at this time.

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