White House Monitored JPMorgan Breach With Alarm

WASHINGTON — President Obama and his top national security advisers began receiving periodic briefings on the huge cyberattack at JPMorgan Chase and nine other financial companies this summer, part of a new effort to keep top national security officials as updated on major cyberattacks as they are on Russian incursions into Ukraine or Islamic State attacks.

But in the JPMorgan case, according to officials familiar with the briefings, 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.’’

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