Hackers Breach Nasdaq’s Network

Bob Styran, IT audit expert
February 07, 2011 /

One of the key players in USA’s stock exchange, Nasdaq, confirmed that its web portal has been penetrated by hackers when authorities discovered a malware on its servers which experts claimed were malicious files implanted on the system of Nasdaq.

Late last week the Wall Street Journal reported the security breach launched against Nasdaq’s servers, which the company admitted, saying a web-based application called Directors Desk, which stores the information shared by corporations trading on Nasdaq, has been probably penetrated.

Responding to the security breach, Nasdaq said the malicious files were promptly “removed and at this point there is no evidence that any Directors Desk customer information was accessed or acquired by hackers.”

Nasdaq added, “At no point was any of Nasdaq OMX’s operated or serviced trading platforms compromised.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is already probing on the security breach with the Justice Department. Government authorities said the hacking did not seem to penetrate the trading platform of Nasdaq. The structure of Nasdaq’s trading platform operates independently, the company said.

The Justice Department has promptly ordered Nasdaq upon the discovery of the hack to keep the breach from being disclosed to its customers to give way for a smooth investigation.

Experts explained that Nasdaq’s system that connects to the web and its trading platform architecture are significantly distinguished, which saves the latter from probable hack.

Directors Desk already has 5,000 corporations trading their stocks. The malicious files were said to have appeared late in 2010, according to a spokesperson of Nasdaq.

The New York Stock Exchange said in a statement that it takes “any potential threat seriously and we continue working at the highest levels of security and integrity.”

Reports are pointing to Russia as the source of the malware launched into Nasdaq’s servers, citing a government official who raised the possibility.


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