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Hackers Probing the Financial System Show Reason to Worry

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Hackers are testing the financial system’s cyber defenses, and they can boast of some alarming success.

Let’s start with what we know. JPMorgan Chase & Co. says a breach of its computer systems exposed the personal information of 76 million households and 7 million small businesses. The intrusion lasted from June until sometime in August, so hackers had more than a month to nose around. They accessed names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses, although the bank says there’s no evidence they compromised account information, passwords or Social Security numbers, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its December issue.