Computer Users Blamed for Stock Exchange Cyber-attacks

Jul
18

Computer Users Blamed for Stock Exchange Cyber-attacks

Dan Steiner
Jul 18, 2013




The stock market – prices go up and prices come down. Sounds simple enough, but cybercriminals are finding new ways to bend the rules.

Stock exchanges around the globe are experiencing a new problem that is affecting prices and causing distrust within the market. A recent report shows that markets are now being targeted by cyber-attacks, most notably attempts to DDOS the networks used by the market.

DDOS stands for Distributed Denial of Service attack, which literally means users will be denied service when accessing the system. In order to accomplish this, the attackers will overwhelm the system through the use of network traffic and sometimes viruses. Although mostly regarded as just a nuisance, a denial of service can mean financial turmoil in a market where every second counts.

In one case, the NYSE Euronext website was taken down for half an hour by one of these DDOS attacks. The NYSE Euronext is an exchange located in Europe that aims to bring together major marketplaces across Europe and the United States. The website acts as a hub of valuable information which includes news releases, financial reports, and stock information. Fears over the escalating cyber-attacks are being blamed for inducing distress within the market, and making it more difficult for international markets to work together and prosper.

One virus that has taken advantage of this wave of cyber-attacks is the SpamHaus virus, a malware infection that attempts to trick computer users into thinking they are inadvertently assisting in the stock market cyber-attacks. Users report that when trying to boot their computers, the infection takes over by displaying an alarming message accusing users of criminal acts.

“You IP address (xx.xx.xx.xx) was identified and isolated by our organization in connection with a complaint to the involvement of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack such organizations: NASDAQ and BATSS stock exchange markets and WIKILEAKS.ORG website. Such attacks caused $15 billion in damage. “

The virus attempts to convince the user that the message comes from a legitimate organisation such as the FBI or the Secret Service and forcibly asks for money to pay a fine. The message can be frightening to those who have never experienced this unique virus. Those who have been fooled will be frustrated to learn that paying the cybercriminals will not remove the virus and the only way to be certain the virus is removed is by following a guide on SpamHause removal.

The stock exchange has always been classified a risky venture. However, cybercriminals are now making it even more dangerous, even for the most experienced investors. The world’s financial infrastructure has revealed that there are many disadvantages to a technologically reliant system and security systems simply cannot keep up.

Author: Dan Steiner
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