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21 October 2011, 11:44

NASDAQ hackers spied on company data

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NASDAQ logo According to a Reuters report, the attackers who penetrated the networks of the NASDAQ stock exchange last year spied on the communications of various companies. In February, there was still some speculation about the exact goals and motive of the attackers.

While NASDAQ previously confirmed that the actual trading platform wasn't compromised, the hackers had managed to gain access to a web-based application called Directors Desk which is used by company leaders, including board members, to securely share confidential documents. The news agency now says that the attack was more serious than previously thought and that the hackers were able to spy on "scores" of directors, citing two sources that are familiar with the ongoing investigations.

The intelligence gained from these communications, depending on their content, has the potential to be worth millions of dollars as it could include insider information on unannounced acquisition plans or financial results. Details of which companies have been affected by the attack have yet to be confirmed. A number of US agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Secret Service are still investigating the breach and working with NASDAQ to help better secure its network against further attacks.

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