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Trading platforms under attack

by
March 28, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
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via Financial Post

Organized and evolved, computer hackers today have higher ambitions. If only we knew what they were.

Suspicious files found on the U.S. servers of the operator of the Nasdaq Stock Market last year led to a shocking discovery: The United States’ largest electronic stock exchange had been repeatedly penetrated by sophisticated cyber attacks over the past year.

Luckily, critical infrastructure such as the central trading platform was not breached and the news leaked on a Saturday, so the blow to investor confidence was minimal. Yet the fact that — despite the best efforts of the United States Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) — nobody knows the identity of the hackers, their motivation, or even their goal highlights the colossal risk of cyber attack facing the pillars of capitalism.

“It is a new war out there,” said Daniel Tobok, president of Toronto-based security consultants Digital Wyzdom Inc. “And finding those responsible is very, very difficult.”

He believes financial institutions are increasingly being targeted — his company deals with up to 51 incidents a month, 10 times its average from just five years ago.

“It is getting out of control,” he said.

Mergers, such as the one proposed Feb. 9 between Toronto Stock Exchange parent TMX Group Inc. and the London Stock Exchange, create a particularly high-risk window of vulnerability to computer hackers.

More here.