JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it increased defenses against computer hackers after an attack against the industry this month.
The big bank is working with U.S. authorities to determine the scope of the assault and is taking additional steps to safeguard confidential information, Patricia Wexler, a spokeswoman for the New York bank, said Thursday.
JPMorgan will get in touch with any customers who might have been affected, Wexler said, adding that the firm hadn’t seen unusual fraud levels.
JPMorgan was among at least five banks targeted in the coordinated attack on financial institutions in recent weeks, a U.S. official said Wednesday. The assault led to the theft of customer data that could be used to drain accounts, according to another person briefed by U.S. law enforcement. Both asked not to be identified because U.S. investigations are continuing.
Chief executive officer Jamie Dimon has warned shareholders in annual letters that hackers’ efforts to breach the bank’s computers were growing more frequent, sophisticated and dangerous. The firm expected to boost yearly spending on cybersecurity to $250 million by the end of 2014, with 1,000 workers dedicated to the effort, he wrote in April.
“We’re making good progress on these and other efforts, but cyberattacks are growing every day in strength and velocity across the globe,” Dimon said in that letter. “It is going to be a continual and likely never-ending battle to stay ahead of it — and, unfortunately, not every battle will be won.”
During attacks this month, hackers went after banks’ customer and employee information, sources told Bloomberg News. The theft involved gigabytes of data. The scale indicates a potential for significant financial fraud.
JPMorgan customers won’t be held liable for fraud related to the attacks and should reach out to the bank if they see suspicious activity, Wexler said.