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Citigroup Denies Hacking Theft (Update)

Citigroup calls a report of a computer-security breach 'innaccurate' and the allegations 'false.'

Updated from Tuesday, Dec. 22



) --


, in a statement, denied a report in the

Wall Street Journal

Tuesday that said federal authorities were investigating the theft of tens of millions of dollars from customer accounts by hackers.

Citigroup called the


story on the bank's cyber security "inaccurate," adding the allegations reported by the newspaper were "false."

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"There has been no breach and there have been no associated losses," Citigroup said, in a statement. "We take the security of our customers' accounts and systems seriously. We continuously take steps to protect our customers against fraud, and we have state-of-the-art processes to detect and prevent criminal activity.

"Occasionally, as with virtually all financial institutions, there are instances of fraud or breaches of third-party systems that result in our taking actions to protect our customers and Citi. However, contrary to the

Wall Street Journal

report (Tuesday), there has been no breach of Citi's systems."

Citigroup sent employees in U.S. bank branches a memo to help respond to questions, the



Other large U.S.-based banks declined to comment on whether they have faced similar attacks.

Bank of America

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, meanwhile, was offering online-banking customers a free, one-year version of antivirus software to install on their computers. "We're always taking steps to protect the safety and security of our systems," spokeswoman Tara Burke told the newspaper.

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