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JPMorgan Hack: 7M Small Businesses Affected

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By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on October 06, 2014 9:48 AM

JPMorgan Chase has revealed that personal information connected to 83 million accounts may have been accessed by hackers in a data breach this summer.

Included in the massive cyberattack were the names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and internal bank information of approximately 7 million small business account holders, reports ZDNet. According to JPMorgan Chase, hackers were not able to obtain account numbers, passwords, user IDs, dates of birth, or Social Security numbers; the bank reports that it has yet to see any instances of fraud linked to the data breach.

What are the details surrounding this latest data breach, and what can small business owners do to protect themselves?

Cyberattack Likely Began via Compromised Employee Computer

The cyberattack was first detected by JPMorgan Chase in August. The hackers are believed to have accessed the trove of data through a compromised employee computer, allowing the hackers to establish a tunnel into the bank's network, reports ZDNet.

The bank is currently working with the FBI to try to determine the identities of the party or parties responsible for the breach, which comes on the heels of a massive data breach reported by retailer Home Depot in September. In that breach, the data associated with 56 million payment cards used by customers may have been captured by cybercriminals.

Remain Vigilant for Related Scams

Although JPMorgan Chase is not advising that account holders change their passwords or account data, business owners should nevertheless be on the lookout for possible attempts by scammers to harness the stolen data to gain access to the financial accounts of JPMorgan Chase customers.

Among the methods scammers may use include:

  • "Phishing" attempts. Emails claiming to be from JPMorgan Chase regarding the breach may actually be an attempt by scammers to infect your computer with malware. Be suspicious of links or attachments in these emails as clicking or opening them may give hackers access to your financial information.
  • Phone/text scams. Phone calls or text messages sent to account holders may also be an attempt by the scammers to use the information obtained in the breach to scam you out of more sensitive information, such as account numbers, passwords, and dates of birth.
  • Mail scams. Scammers may also use the addresses obtained in the data breach to trick account holders into providing further information.

In addition, business owners always should monitor their accounts for small, unexplained charges. Scammers often make small test charges before committing more serious fraud on compromised accounts.

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