By Edward Krudy
NEW YORK Feb 14 Websites of exchange
operators Nasdaq and BATS have been attacked by hackers over the
last 24 hours, causing ongoing disruptions to the sites, but
trading on the exchanges was not affected, spokespersons for the
companies said on Tuesday.
Only the banner carrying the logo at the top of the web page
for www.nasdaq.com was visible during repeated attempts to
access Nasdaq's site on Tuesday afternoon.
A Nasdaq OMX Group spokesman confirmed that it had
been suffering a denial-of-service attack (DOS) since late on
Monday but said they had not located the origin of the attack
and were unable to say when it would be resolved.
Another site, www.nasdaqtrader.com, was also affected.
"The website wasn't hacked, nobody got any information. What
they did was try to block access for our users," said Nasdaq
spokesman Joseph Christinat.
The Nasdaq's websites are separate from their trading
systems and Christinat said the breach had not affected trading
in any way.
"We experienced intermittent service disruptions on our
corporate website and we are working to resolve the issues," he
Similarly, a BATS spokesperson said the company was affected
by a denial of service incident. "Our trading systems were not
affected and there were no exchange customer disruptions
associated with the incident," the exchange said in a statement.
The Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange have been the
victims of attacks in the past. Hackers who infiltrated the
Nasdaq's computer systems in 2010 installed malicious software
that allowed them to spy on the directors of publicly held
companies, Reuters reported last year.
Keynote Systems, a mobile and Internet cloud monitoring
company based in San Mateo, California, said tests from
monitoring agents in four global locations in London, New York,
San Francisco and Frankfurt all reported negative results when
trying to access the Nasdaq website late on Tuesday afternoon.
"All four of those locations failed and returned a
connection error," said Aaron Rudger, web performance marketing
manager at Keynote. "To the extent that all four of these
locations are not able to make connections it does mean that the
website itself is fundamentally crippled."
A single test for the BATS website indicated that Frankfurt
was the only location that was failing, but Rudger said further
tests were needed to confirm the result.
A federal investigation into the 2010 cyber attack on Nasdaq
found lax security practices, according to people with knowledge
of the probe.
The top executive of the Nasdaq exchange operator said last
year it has to be ever-vigilant against hackers and would spend
more on security because of the threat.
Last October, the NYSE's website was inaccessible for 30
minutes, according to an Internet monitoring company, but the
exchange said there was no interruption of service.
The incident followed a video posted on YouTube, which
claimed to be from the activist hacker group Anonymous.
It said the NYSE website would be "erased from the Internet"
in sympathy with the then-ongoing "Occupy Wall Street" protests
in Lower Manhattan.
Neither the origin of the attack nor the video could be
verified by Reuters on that occasion.
Spokesmen for the New York Stock Exchange and U.S. exchange
DirectEdge said their websites had not experienced any attacks
A director at the CME Group said he was not aware of
any problems with its site.