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01 February 2011, 12:37

Attacks on London Stock Exchange under investigation

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LSE Logo According to media reports, last August the London Stock Exchange was the victim of a cyber-attack which resulted in a collapse in the share prices of at least five companies. On the 24th of August, the value of BT's shares fell by nearly £1 billion. The London Stock Exchange (LSE) responded by suspending trading.

The problem was officially blamed on an incorrect price on a large number of stock orders. A similar event is reported to have occurred in November. An investigation is to be launched to look into the circumstances and to determine whether the two incidents were the result of (terrorist) attacks. According to the reports, the first attack occurred shortly after the LSE switched to an open source system.

In contrast to other stock exchanges, the LSE is not connected to the internet on any major scale. This is in contrast to the situation in the US, where authorities are also investigating attempted attacks in which criminals, allegedly from Russia, attempted to "destabilise" Western financial markets. It is, however, questionable whether a disruption can remain isolated, given the degree of interconnection of global markets and the interdependence between international companies.

Emissions trading bodies throughout Europe are now gradually getting back to work, following the suspensionPDF of trading on the 19th of January after unauthorised persons gained control of €6.7 million worth of emissions allowances.

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