JPMorgan Chase revealed on Thursday that more than 80 million accounts had been hit in a massive cyberattack earlier this summer, but on Friday, officials said at least nine other financial institutions were also hacked by the same group.
Government and industry officials believe the group of hackers may have some connection to the Russian government and may be working from that country, but their actual motives remain unclear. One senior official told The New York Times that the attacks may have been "in retaliation for the sanctions" placed on Russia earlier this summer, "but it could be mixed motives — to steal if they can, or to sell whatever information they could glean."
The hackers gained access to names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses, but they did not reach more secure financial information. That led some officials to wonder if the attack was meant as a message for Wall Street and the United States government. But, "we've been wrong before," the senior official noted.
The other financial institutions involved were not immediately identified, but the more widespread nature of the breach has some financial regulators worried that a strategic attack could effectively debilitate America's banking system.