76m households were affected by cyber attack on JPMorgan data

RetailME Bureau

Latest details on a cyber attack against JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s computer servers this summer add to increasing doubts over the security of consumer data kept by lenders, retailers and others.

The New York-based bank disclosed recently that the breach compromised customer information pertaining to roughly 76 million households and 7 million small businesses.

Among the customer data stolen were names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses, though only customers who use the websites Chase.com and JPMorganOnline and the apps ChaseMobile and JPMorgan Mobile were affected, the bank says.

JPMorgan stressed that there’s no evidence that the data breach included account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers or dates of birth. It also noted that it has not seen any unusual customer fraud stemming from the data breach.

The server breach follows data thefts that have hit financial firms and major retailers this year, adding to consumer concerns over the risk of identity theft and fraud.

The Chase heist is even more disturbing than the recent retail breaches because banks are supposed to have fortress-like protection against intruders, says Gartner security analyst Avivah Litan.

“This is really a slap in the face of the American financial services system,” Litan says. “Honestly, this is a crisis point.”

JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s biggest bank by assets, has been working with law enforcement officials to investigate the cyberattack.

The bank discovered the intrusion on its servers in mid-August and has since determined that the breach began as early as June, spokeswoman Patricia Wexler says.

“We have identified and closed the known access paths,” she says, declining to elaborate.

She also declined to comment on whether JPMorgan has been able to determine who was behind the cyberattack on its servers.

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