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Science & Technology

JPMorgan Chase Data Breach Exposes Millions Of Households

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's customary in radio not to overload you with too many numbers. They get hard to follow and recall, so better to avoid a lot of little numbers and limit yourself to the really, strikingly large ones.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

I'd say these numbers qualify - 76 million and 7 million.

INSKEEP: Those are big numbers - 76 million households were affected by this summer's data breach at the banking giant JPMorgan Chase.

CORNISH: So were 7 million small businesses. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more on the story.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Just a few short sentences in a filing with the government is how JPMorgan Chase let the world know the extent to which it was hacked. The bank says hackers got away with contact information like names, addresses, emails, phone numbers and not things like account numbers and Social Security numbers.

JONATHAN MAYER: Well, there's no doubt that companies with valuable information have a target painted on them.

GLINTON: Jonathan Mayer is a cyber-security fellow at Stanford. He says almost any information from a bank of Chase's size can have value.

MAYER: It's a little different from robbing a bank, where you kind of presumably would start with the gold and then go from there. When you're robbing an online bank, you take everything you can get and sort through what you got later.

GLINTON: Mayer says it's nearly impossible to catch the bandits, as they're most likely stationed outside the U.S. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase says customers aren't liable for any unauthorized transactions, and it's detected no fraud related to the breach - so far. Sonari Glinton, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.