Tags: Nasdaq | hack | security | website

Security Expert Needed Only 10 Minutes to Hack Nasdaq

By    |   Wednesday, 18 September 2013 07:59 AM

Nasdaq's website remained defenseless against hacker attacks for weeks despite being warned by a computer security export, reports the New York Daily News.

An experienced hacker could have gained complete control of the electronic stock exchange in a couple of days, Ilia Kolochenko, head of Swiss computer security firm High-Tech Bridge, told the New York Daily News.

With absolute control, hackers could create chaos on the stock exchange by posting fake announcements of shares dropping. They could add forms demanding credit card numbers and other sensitive financial information, infect website visitors' computers with malware or send visitors to malicious websites.

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"The only limit is the hacker's imagination," he told the Daily News.

"It is quite frightening when you think about it. I discovered these vulnerabilities in just 10 minutes with a Firefox browser without any special tools or software."

Kolochenko said he tried repeatedly to warn Nasdaq about its vulnerability, but was ignored.

A Nasdaq spokesman said the exchange responded to him on Sept. 4.

"We take all information security matters seriously. We work with leading security vendors and have a trained and professional team that evaluates all credible threats across our digital assets," the spokesman told the Daily News.

Trading on Nasdaq was shut down for three hours on Aug. 22 due to what the exchange called a technical glitch. Some computer experts suspect it was caused by political hackers, according to the Daily News.

Nasdaq scrambled to fix its vulnerabilities in response to its article, the Daily News reported.

"They worked all night to fix it but I alerted them to this two weeks ago and they ignored me," Kolochenko said.

Other IT experts also blasted Nasdaq. "As more of our daily lives rely on the Internet and online services, protecting data needs to be taken far more seriously than Nasdaq's response," Nick Pickles, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, told the Daily News. "For Nasdaq to seemingly ignore these concerns is bordering on reckless."

Independent computer security analyst Graham Cluley wrote on his blog that the site was still not completely secure. "Whether you are running a website used by millions of people, or only get a few dozen visitors a month," Cluley wrote, "it's essential that you keep on top of security issues and ensure that your site doesn't have flaws that could be exploited by malicious hackers.

"In Nasdaq's case, it's clearly important that they do a thorough review of all their Internet-facing systems."

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Nasdaq's website remained defenseless against hacker attacks for weeks despite being warned by a computer security export, reports the New York Daily News.
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Wednesday, 18 September 2013 07:59 AM
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