President Obama and his top national security advisers began receiving periodic briefings on the huge cyberattack at JPMorgan Chase and other financial institutions this summer, part of a new effort to keep security officials as updated on major cyberattacks as they are on Russian incursions into Ukraine or attacks by the Islamic State.
The New York Times reports that in the JPMorgan case, according to administration officials familiar with the briefings, who would not speak on the record about intelligence matters, no one could tell the president what he most wanted to know: What was the motive of the attack?
'The question kept coming back, ‘Is this plain old theft, or is Putin retaliating?’ ' one senior official said, referring to the American-led sanctions on Russia. 'And the answer was: ‘We don’t know for sure.’ '
More than three months after the first attacks were discovered, the source is still unclear and there is no evidence any money was taken from any institution.
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