Monday, February 7, 2011

Stock Exchange: cyber attacks concern to governments

The British and American authorities have appealed to specialized security services after finding cyber attacks against their terrorist nature exchanges last year.
For hackers, the target market is trendy. Latest victim: the Nasdaq. "As part of our routine security checks, we have detected suspicious files on our servers and we concluded that our online software Directors Desk was potentially affected," the company said Nasdaq OMX in a statement. "There is no evidence at this stage that hackers have gained access to customer data Directors Desk or seize it," trying to reassure the exchange company.
According to the Wall Street Journalde Saturday, the Nasdaq's computer system was breached several times in 2010 and a federal investigation is underway to identify those responsible for these intrusions. "Investigators are examining various mobile: illegal financial benefits, theft of trade secrets, or damage to national security through damage to the trading platform," says the article.
Hollywood Screenplay
The announcement echoes that of The Times on Monday. The British newspaper spoke of his columns in a scenario worthy of a Hollywood film: the headquarters of the London Stock Exchange threatened by a cyber terrorist attack while at the same time Wall Street was the victim of an attack the same type of Russian origin . According to the newspaper, these facts would have actually occurred last year, forcing the United States and the United Kingdom to make use of specialized security services to investigate.
Officials, quoted anonymously, believe that these attacks were intended to cause panic and destabilize markets, more generally, financial institutions in the Western world.
"Real threat"
According to the Times, the most common tactic is taking control of computers to coordinate attacks on servers. Hackers are using more and more often called botnets, networks of machines controlled remotely, and to which access has a price on the Internet at 130 pounds (150 euros) for a hundred computers. This system makes it very difficult to identify the perpetrators of the attacks - hence the secrecy surrounding the identity of "terrorists" for the British - and makes it more complicated investigations already slowed by the inventiveness of these computer nerds.
The head of the British electronic intelligence (GCHQ), Iain Lobbens evokes in any case a threat "real and persistent." Remarks confirmed by the head of British Armed Forces, David Richards, who added that a cyber attack could economically "cripple a country with the same effectiveness as a series of bomb attacks against the cities."
Strengthen national security
These concerns spill over just days after the European Union has suspended trading on the Stock Exchange of carbon, the victim of a series of cyber attacks that resulted in the theft and resale of quotas worth 28 million euros . Austria, Greece, Czech Republic, Poland and Estonia have been affected. The European Union was mindful of the problem but each country has returned to his responsibilities: "The security of national registries, it is the responsibility of Member States. We must remind the countries of the Union they must take action ", explained the spokesman of the Commission, Maria Kokkonen. The Exchange is also closed on time to enable states to secure their systems.
The urgency seems in order when the situation goes well beyond stock. According to Ian Lobbens, computers governmental departments of a country like the United Kingdom received over 20,000 e-mails and malicious are the subject of 1000 cyber attacks each month.

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