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Nasdaq repeatedly hacked during past year

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported today that the computer network that runs the Nasdaq Stock Market has been repeately hacked during the past year. The part of the system that executes trades was not breached, but other parts of the Nasdaq’s infrastructure were accessed (more about that below). Officials from the Secret Service and the FBI are investigating.

Nasdaq is the largest electronic securities trading market in the U.S., with more than 2,800 listed companies.

The CNNMoney report seems to skim the surface of the WSJ report. Investigators have been unable to follow the trail to any specific country or individual. Investigators are unsure of whether they have remedied all of the network’s potential security gaps. :-) Not “bloody likely….” Nasdaq’s internal systems were unaffected by a public attack in 1999, in which hackers left a taunting message and exploited a weakness in a commonly used Microsoft server system. :-) The reports that I have read so far do not state whether Microsoft server systems were involved in the latest, year-long hacking activity, or not. Some companies, like Google, have dropped the internal use of Windows for security reasons.

Another report by an AP Technology Writer, Peter Svensson, states that the hackers broke into a Nasdaq service that handles confidential communications for some 300 corporations. :-) I’m not sure why THAT information was missing from The Wall Street Journal and CNNMoney reports. This last report states:

“The targeted service, Directors Desk, helps companies share documents with directors between scheduled board meetings. It also allows online discussions and Web conferencing within a board. Since board directors have access to information at the highest level of a company, penetrating the service could be of great value for insider trading.”

Penetrating the web-accessible Directors Desk could be of great value to MANY people involved in far more than insider trading.

-Bill at

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