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J. P. Morgan’s disclosure that hackers compromised the data of more than 76 million of its consumer patrons — and 7 million small business clients — may seem stunning.

But it reflects just a sliver of the withering bombardment the U.S. financial services sector has endured for at least the past three years.

Criminals go where the money is. And in this case, the most sophisticated, well-funded and determined cyber attackers have been relentlessly hammering on banks, fund managers, brokerage houses, stock exchanges and the like since at least 2011.

These cyber attacks against America’s financial infrastructure are sophisticated, well-funded and highly-coordinated. The motive: simple greed, but also ideological fervor – and sometimes both. This is not something the financial sector cares to discuss publicly.

But make no mistake. Wall Street is expending enormous resources just to keep the attackers mostly in check. The result is that disclosures of major breaches, like the one J. P. Morgan was compelled to reveal in this terse SEC filing, occur only sporadically.

[Read More at MarketWatch]