From today’s New York Times:
“It was a huge surprise that they were able to compromise a huge bank like JPMorgan,” said Al Pascual, a security analyst with Javelin Strategy and Research. “It scared the pants off many people.”
Honestly, this is only surprising to people who don’t work in large organizations. Large companies are filled with aging hardware kept alive beyond lifecycle. These servers host applications that are too important to kill but not important enough to port to newer architecture. Your JoeDog has seen servers that nobody owns. “What’s that do?” I don’t know. The guy who administered it retired five years ago.
The easiest way to circumvent millions of dollars in network security devices is with malware. Let’s say — and why not? — there’s a 0.001 chance that somebody falls for malware click bait. If your company has 100 employees, chances are less that 1 you’ll be malwared. But in a company of 10,000 people, ten mother fsckers are going to click that link.
Large corporations have been instrumental in driving down programming costs. While they may have a few senior developers on staff, most of the grunt work takes place overseas. Now Your JoeDog is not disparaging overseas developers. There are many fine programmers the world over. And the good ones all cost the same: lots o’ money. Large corporations don’t want those guys. They can find them in the US. They want cheap ones.
True story: Your JoeDog was kept abreast of the details of an outsourcing operation. When the initial quotes came back from India, there was much surprise. “This isn’t going to work, you guys cost more than our own people.” Well, the Indians said, we have another team in Bumfsck, India. They cost one-fifth as much as the Bangalore team. “Really? We’ll take it.”
The breach at JPMorgan Chase came in through the web servers. We don’t know where that was coded but Your JoeDog has his hunch. At some point a decision maker at JPMorgan was quoted the cost of Bumfsck coders and said, “Really? We’ll take it.”