US stock market systems hacked last year

Federal authorities are investigating a computer intrusion at the company that runs the Nasdaq stock exchange, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

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Federal authorities are investigating a computer intrusion at the company that runs the Nasdaq stock exchange, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

According to the report, which cites anonymous sources, Nasdaq OMX Group computers were compromised sometime over the past year, but the company's trading platform was unaffected. "So far, [the perpetrators] appear to have just been looking around," the Journal quotes one source as saying.

The report is worrying, however, as it comes just days after the Times reported that police are investigating whether May 2010's dramatic 1,000 point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial average may have been connected to a cyber crime. Authorities are also looking into an August, 2010 incident at the London Stock Exchange that moved stock prices wildly for five companies, including BT and Next, the Times reported.

Three weeks ago, the European Union carbon trading system was taken offline after a set of security breaches let to millions of Euros being stolen from accounts.

Nasdaq OMX Group runs a number of stock exchanges, including the US Nasdaq, and exchanges that trade in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, and the Baltic region. The investigation is being conducted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Secret Service, the report states.

Nasdaq representatives could not be reached immediately for comment.

Hacking incidents like this are becoming increasingly common, as widespread e-mail and Web-based computer attacks continue to overwhelm workers in corporations and in government. In some cases, hacking into a low-level employee's desktop can be the first step for a more sophisticated attack, but often the cybercriminals go no further into the network.

The report is worrying, however, as it comes just days after the Times reported that police are investigating whether May 2010's dramatic 1,000 point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial average may have been connected to a cyber crime. Authorities are also looking into Aug. 24, 2010 incident at the London Stock exchange that moved stock prices wildly for five companies, including BT and Next.


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