Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Nasdaq Confirms Servers Breached

Malware may have been targeting insider information from 10,000 senior executives who use the compromised Directors Desk app.

On Sunday, the public company that owns the Nasdaq Stock Market confirmed reports that its servers had been breached.

"Through our normal security monitoring systems we detected suspicious files on the U.S. servers unrelated to our trading systems and determined that our Web facing application Directors Desk was potentially affected," according to a statement released by Nasdaq OMX Group.

"We immediately conducted an investigation, which included outside forensic firms and U.S. federal law enforcement. The files were immediately removed and at this point there is no evidence that any Directors Desk customer information was accessed or acquired by hackers," it said.

According to Nasdaq OMX, the trading platform infrastructure -- used to execute trades in real time -- isn't connected to Directors Desk or other Web-facing services.

The Department of Justice, as part of its ongoing investigation, had requested that Nasdaq OMX not notify its customers about the breach until February 14, 2011. But on Saturday, the company -- after consulting with the government -- issued its statement in response to a story in the Wall Street Journal that detailed the hack. Quoting unnamed sources, the paper also said that the attack, involving malware, was first discovered in late 2010, and that investigators had yet to identify the malware's origin or purpose.

Interestingly, the attack highlights how little damage criminals have apparently done to the world's stock exchanges. "Those responsible for securing stock exchanges around the world know that they are potentially a big target for hackers -- but the 'Hollywood scenario' of evil cybercriminal geniuses breaking into servers and messing around with the world's economies has so far been rebuffed," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, in a blog post.

Then again, attackers might not have been aiming for the real-time trading environment, but rather Directors Desk itself. The application, used by 10,000 senior executives and directors, is an online portal for sharing confidential information, backed by secure email, document management, Web conferencing, and collaboration tools, according to the Nasdaq OMX Web site.

Hacking Directors Desk might be attractive to criminals who didn't want to crash markets, but rather cash in using insider information. "For cybercriminals, that would be like hitting the mother lode," said Cluley.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Microsoft Patches Wormable RCE Vulns in Remote Desktop Services
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/13/2019
The Mainframe Is Seeing a Resurgence. Is Security Keeping Pace?
Ray Overby, Co-Founder & President at Key Resources, Inc.,  8/15/2019
GitHub Named in Capital One Breach Lawsuit
Dark Reading Staff 8/14/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-19
Authentication bypass in the web console for Intel(R) Raid Web Console 2 all versions may allow an unauthenticated attacker to potentially enable disclosure of information via network access.
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-19
Insufficient session validation in system firmware for Intel(R) NUC may allow a privileged user to potentially enable escalation of privilege, denial of service and/or information disclosure via local access.
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-19
Improper permissions in the software installer for Intel(R) Authenticate before 3.8 may allow an authenticated user to potentially enable escalation of privilege via local access.
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-19
Improper file verification in Intel? Driver & Support Assistant before may allow an authenticated user to potentially enable escalation of privilege via local access.
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-19
Improper file verification in Intel? Driver & Support Assistant before may allow an authenticated user to potentially enable escalation of privilege via local access.