Hong Kong Exchange hacked for second time in two days

The Hong Kong Exchange (HKEx) online news service was hacked again yesterday after Wednesday's half-day suspension of trading of shares of eight companies.

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The Hong Kong Exchange (HKEx) online news service was hacked again yesterday after Wednesday's half-day suspension of trading of shares of eight companies.

According to Charles Li, chief executive of the stock exchange, the attacks throughout the day were successfully blocked by HKEx's IT department. Other systems were not under attack or affected. He added that the HKEx will widen its information distribution, in the wake of yesterday's incident.

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange suspended trading in several shares yesterday following a glitch in its online news service that may have been caused by hacking, according to Li. The glitch came on a day when several firms announced earnings, preventing investors from accessing company announcements made during the midday break.

HKEx said yesterday that in order to give investors time to get the price-sensitive information elsewhere, it decided to adopt a half day (one trading session) suspension policy for firms announcing results during the lunch publication window on Wednesday.

According to Li at a news conference held Wednesday afternoon, eight companies were affected including HSBC, Cathay Pacific, Dah Sing Bank, China Power, and HKEx, all of which announced interim results during the midday break.

"Our current assessment is that the glitch could be the result of an external attack," Li said yesterday. "HKEx is now investigating the problem and the HKEx news website services will resume as soon as the technical problem is resolved."

Other systems at the HKEx were not affected and trading in its securities and derivatives markets continued to operate normally, the exchange added.

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