NSA Joins Nasdaq Breach Investigation

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

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The National Security agency (NSA) has joined the FBI, foreign intelligence agencies, and the Secret Service in the investigation of unauthorized access to Nasdaq network systems that occurred in 2010.

The NSA became involved after evidence surfaced that the breach may have been more severe than first thought, and may be an indication that the attack was state-sponsored.

Nasdaq officials had previously stated that only the Directors Desk had been compromised in the attack,and that the platform responsible for executing trades was not compromised. Now it is unclear exactly which systems were involved.

The addition of the NSA to the case will allow investigators unparalleled access to some of the most sophisticated analysis tools available.

“By bringing in the NSA, that means they think they’re either dealing with a state-sponsored attack or it’s an extraordinarily capable criminal organization,” said the former head of U.S. counterintelligence Joel Brenner.

The Nasdaq breach spurred the House Financial Services Committee to initiate an investigaion of their own into the overall security of the nation's financial systems.

The financial industry is particularly susceptible to damage from data loss events. Not only are billions of dollars at risk, investor and enterprise confidence can be also shaken, impacting a broad range of activities vital to the national economy.

“For an organization like Nasdaq, it does have an impact on the overall perception of their security, their resiliency and their value. For potential partners of the company, that has to be a concern... Uncertainty in the functioning of the market is the biggest blow-back to this event," said financial markets analyst Alexander Tabb.

Source:  http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-03-30/u-s-spy-agency-is-said-to-investigate-nasdaq-hacker-attack.html

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