London Stock Exchange 'under major cyberattack' during Linux switch

London Stock Exchange 'under major cyberattack' during Linux switch

Millennium Exchange may have been victim of hacking

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The London Stock Exchange’s new open source-based trading system may have been hacked last year, according to a report.

The alleged attack came as the LSE began the preparation and switch over to the Linux-based systems, according to the dates referred to in the Times newspaper.

The continued threat of cyber attack has resulted in the LSE keeping a close dialogue with British security services, which this year branded cyber attacks as one of the biggest threats to the country.

Details of the alleged problems remain sketchy, and both the exchange and security services are being tight lipped on what is an economic and security-sensitive issue.

There were major technical problems on the exchange on 24 August, when stock prices of five large companies collapsed. Most notably, BT shares lost £968 million, and the LSE was forced to halt trading for the day. The exchange blamed an incorrectly entered price on a large number of stock orders.

But the trading system was also thrown offline last November in what the LSE called “suspicious circumstances”. So far, the official explanation is human error, but it is understood that the police have been drawn into investigations.

Unlike US exchanges, the LSE platform is not based on the internet, and therefore is less vulnerable to general cyber attacks. However, cyber attacks on exchanges are becoming more advanced, according to security experts, and this poses new threats.

The LSE declined to make any comment on the events, ongoing investigations or possible motives for any attacks.

The new system, based in a C++ environment and running on a Linux operating system, is already live on the LSE’s Turquoise, or anonymous, trading venue.

As the concern and speculation deepens around the LSE outages, the exchange is due to switch on the new systems on its main exchange in two weeks’ time, with dress rehearsals over the coming two weekends. It replaces a Microsoft .Net architecture. The system has been live since last summer on the Turquoise venue.



  • sola I understand the Linux part of the new system but not really the C partThey should have gone with Java it is much less vulnerable to attacks based on programming mistakes and with some optimizations it can reach C like speeds in an application like this
  • Ex-LSE What a load of complete nonsense They had bugs in their software and tried to deflect focus - but backfired by stupidly calling their security into question They should have stuck to the tried-and-tested network issue excuse
  • Faster Hi Number 774The system is live on Turquoise the LSE dark pool venue It is being set up for the main exchange on the LSE going live 14 February
  • David Armstrong Re There were major problems on the exchange on 24 August when stock prices of five large companies collapsedThe system was running on Microsofts NET platform Thats how that could have happened
  • ASkeptik424 Dude stop spamming that crap over and over This article contains factual errors and misleading statements and you either have no knowledge of the subject or are being paid to Troll this FUD around Either way stop it already
  • R g get your head out of your ass lse has been running on windows not mainframe prior to moving to linux
  • Dinis Martins This is not a news Its a may be news which says a lot about the media policy over open-source systems When journalists doesnt know how to do their job the news stop being news and start being rumors Anyone can do that I dont need a master degree to start rumors but do need one to become a good journalistShould I trust LSE for my tradings Should I trust the new platform Or the old one
  • Robert McKee Yes IBM Mainframes have been hacked numerous times where have you been
  • Tim Unlike US exchanges the LSE platform is not based on the internet and therefore is less vulnerable to general cyber attacksUS exchanges are also not based on the internet
  • Matt Leo you are confused by the the term open source can you please point me the source code for LSE I would like to take a look at it I think what you mean is the support OS infrastructure is open source the article certainly highlights your confusion with such terminology
  • Derrick Johnson US exchanges are in no way based on the Internet Although you can access brokerage firms via the Internet those brokerage firms must connect to exchanges via private networks owned by the exchanges
  • Eryq So it was the Microsoft NET systems that were hacked -- which is probably the best possible argument for switching to the more-secure Linux platform Yet your article omits this critical fact and apparently intentionally makes it sound like the Linux systems were attacked What an unprofessional piece of journalism
  • Stephen so the old M systems were hacked and youre trying to imply that Linux is insecure FUD
  • Number774 The London Stock Exchanges new open source trading system may have been hacked last year according to a report I then read on the exchange is due to switch on the new Linux systems on its main exchange in two weeks time OK so it isnt live Whats the excitement A prototype was hacked Hang on There were major problems on the exchange on 24 August when stock prices of five large companies collapsed How could hacking a prototype cause thatAm I reading this wrong or was it the old system that was hacked and not the new open source system as you describe in your introduction
  • Gunstick I think windows is the toy system As far as I know the majority of computer games are running on windows Putting an OS which is build to run games into business environments is a guaranteed failureI see that every day at work
  • Tdphette You might be surprised to learn that US exchanges have been running on Linux for a while as have most enterprise businesses with large compute needs Mainframes have been been pushed into legacy niches All the real work is happening on massive compute clusters mostly running Linux By real work I mean simulation design analysis forecasting anything that requires a lot of computation and not just a big DB2 database with a slathering of business logic
  • Paddington Really How sad that this countrys corporations are run on such fragile systems No wonder the economy is in a mess
  • Paddington Yes Grimbo I agree But securely I doubt it
  • Paddington Might be 91 of the worlds top 500 supercomputers running Linux but do they do real business work Not in my opinion The key here is security Every man and his poodle has the ability to access Linux and Microsoft but can anyone show me one instance of an IBM Mainframe running zOS being hacked Never The LSE was great when they had a MF Look at it now Ditto most UK Government Departments
  • OB This article is incredibly short on details and clarity The systems compromised appear to have still been running NET but the heading seems to just want to throw Linux and Risk into the same sentence The complete lack of facts makes this seem like FUD
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