Did Russia Have a Hand in Hacking U.S. Banks?

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Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg‘s Mike Riley discusses the hacking of several financial institutions in the U.S. and why some victims assert that this may be state sponsored. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Nsa are investigating.

Mike riley broke the news and now joins us from the washington bureau.

Mike, russian hackers could mean a lot of different things.

What does it mean in this case?

It could mean a lot of different things.

They are trying to decide what it does mean.

We do know that one of the banks, the victim banks, has already identified hackers.

Not just as russian, but state-sponsored.

That indicates there is some hand of the government behind this.

That is a competent it question to answer.

I think the investigation going forward will try to do that.

I think these are criminal.

There's this gray area between what is criminal and what his government.

It is really hard to sort that stuff out, but that is what investigators are trying to do.

You mentioned that this is a zero day hack.

That usually indicates something pretty significant in terms of sophistication.

In this case, they used an unknown vulnerability in public facing web application of the banks.

This is essentially the bank's front door.

They spent a lot of money and a lot of effort to make sure that you cannot get into the front door.

If you can get in, you cannot go anywhere else.

They not just got in, but they were able to get in and go and steal confidential and client data.

That is a very big deal.

That is one of the things that so concerns the bank.

These guys are really good.

You wrote the cover for bloomberg businessweek about the nasdaq hack in 2010. there was a zero day hack involved there as well.

How am in a that attack is this one?

It is interesting.

It shows how difficult it is for the nsa to determine who is behind this.

They thought at the beginning that it was the russian government.

Then they decided that china might be involved.

Then they went back to the russian government or some version of russian hackers.

I was talking to a source yesterday and he reminded me of that event, in terms of this investigation.

It will be some time before they do this.

The one thing those two hacks have in common is that they are sophisticated.

You're the expert on this.

You are known worldwide for your sophistication of jpmorgan and citigroup.

Is this as simple as vladimir putin picking up the phone and dialing 1-800-hack and saying go after the american banks?

Something like that certainly could happen.

One of the things that we have seen with russia and people who have been watching russia and the hacking space will point out that there is a lot of connection between russian government and criminal hackers.

Often, those hackers end up doing the bidding of the russian government.

In estonia and georgia, we saw attacks, very effective against government targets.

There is this theory about russia that the criminals are given a wide lease to operate.

If they do not hit russian targets -- when the russian government needs them, they can respond.

Is this one of those examples?

I think that is what they're trying to find out.

I am curious that if this is a government action -- how good are we at this?

Can the u.s. do this back to them?

The u.s. can certainly do this back to them.

They probably will not.

There is a clear directive, and executive order.

The white house has decided it will not respond to a cyber attack with a military reaction unless it meets two cristeria.

Unless it means a serious economic harm or loss of life.

It seems unlikely that this will meet that bar.

It is just the threat of the information that was stolen is what they need?

There could be economic harm.

They could be harm to the bank and the customers.

I think the white house, what they look at is serious harm to the economy.

So, this is really going to be on the banks.

I don't think i would look to the white house or the u.s. military for a response.

We will be watching this today.

The south with the movie i just watched on the airplane.

That jack ryan movie where they did something with the russian hackers bank accounts.

Ads are everywhere.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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