How Russian Hackers Stole the Nasdaq
By Michael Riley July 17, 2014
In October 2010, a Federal Bureau of Investigation system monitoring U.S. Internet traffic picked up an alert. The signal was coming from Nasdaq (NDAQ). It looked like malware had snuck into the company’s central servers.
Intelligence and law enforcement agencies, under pressure to decipher a complex hack, struggled to provide an even moderately clear picture to policymakers. After months of work, there were still basic disagreements in different parts of government over who was behind the incident and why. “We’ve seen a nation-state gain access to at least one of our stock exchanges, I’ll put it that way, and it’s not crystal clear what their final objective is,” says House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan, who agreed to talk about the incident only in general terms because the details remain classified. “The bad news of that equation is, I’m not sure you will really know until that final trigger is pulled. And you never want to get to that.”
While the hack was successfully disrupted, it revealed how vulnerable financial exchanges—as well as banks, chemical refineries, water plants, and electric utilities—are to digital assault.
Agents found the tracks of several different groups operating freely, some of which may have been in the exchange’s networks for years, including criminal hackers and Chinese cyberspies.
The agents found little evidence of a broader attack. What they did find were systematic security failures riddling some of the most important U.S. financial institutions. It turned out that many on the list were vulnerable to the same attack that struck Nasdaq. They were spared only because the hackers hadn’t bothered to try.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
You can't get much more capitalistic than NASDAQ so this is another puzzler for the advocates of the Free Market Fairy:
Posted by Steve J. at 8:24 PM