JPMorgan to notify 500,000 due to data breach, but will not offer replacement cards

Bank cites no evidence of funds being stolen as reasoning for not issuing new cards


JPMorgan Chase & Co. has said they plan to issue breach notifications to nearly 500,000 customers, or two percent of the bank's 25 million UCard users, after hackers breached their network in July. However, because there's no evidence that funds were stolen, the bank will not issue replacement cards.

[Adobe confirms stolen passwords were encrypted, not hashed]

On Wednesday, several state agencies were notified of a data breach that took place in July, after hackers compromised UCard servers maintained by JP Morgan Chase & Co. The incident resulted in the potential loss of hundreds of thousands of records.

The breach itself was detected and fixed in September, but the specifics of the attack remain undisclosed. While normally encrypted, the bank said that the records compromised during the attack appeared in clear text temporarily while the breach taking place. Moreover, the bank stressed that the breach in July only affected the prepaid UCards, and none of the other cards brands that they support.

In statements to local media, the Louisiana Department of Revenue, Workforce Commission, and Department of Children and Family Services, confirmed that they've received breach notification letters. Combined, the agencies said that 13,500 people in the state had been affected.

The Chase UCards are issued by state agencies to process state payroll, child support payments, state assistance payments (EBT), education assistance payments, unemployment payments, and tax refunds. Aside from Louisiana, the exact number of records lost state-to-state isn't clear, but the UCard is issued in Utah, Texas, Connecticut, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

Chase has said that cardholders who registered their cards between July and September 2013 are the focus of the notifications, but they have no evidence that the information compromised has been used fraudulently.

In a statement to Reuters, Michael Fusco, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, said that the bank is still investigating in order to discover what accounts were involved, and what information could have been taken. However, because the possibility that personal information loss remains, the bank will notify 500,000 cardholders about the incident, or roughly two percent of the 25 million UCard users.

[Collisions likely over PCI 3.0]

As part of their breach recovery efforts, the bank is offering one-year of credit monitoring to anyone affected by the data breach. However, because there has been no evidence that funds were stolen, or that other crimes were committed, JPMorgan has stated that they will not issue replacement cards.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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