Exchange Sites Recover from DDoS AttacksNASDAQ, BATS Targeted by Hackers
Days after hackers temporarily shuttered the websites of NASDAQ and BATS stock exchanges with distributed denial of service attacks, the equities markets reported their sites were operating normally and that their important trading systems were unaffected by the digital assaults.
"Our website is used to display general information about our market activity for the casual user, and there are no critical functions supported through our general public site," said Stacie Fleming, spokeswoman for BATS, which runs the equity markets BZX Exchange and BYX Exchange.
A NASDAQ spokesman concurred: "We take considerable measures to enhance and protect the physical and software environment of all of our systems and will continue to do so."
Denial-of-service attacks against public stock-exchange websites create confusion more than anything, says Gregor Bailar, former NASDAQ CIO. "It can confuse an investor if they're seeing old data, especially in a day that has a lot of trading going on," he says.
Cyber attacks also divert the efforts of the technology and management staffs that have to deal with the threat, he says. "It's an issue that has some inkling of reputational impact."
Organizations faced with denial-of-service attacks need to have resilient infrastructure, Bailar says. Also, they need to be able to quickly identify patterns within these attacks so they can be addressed.
According to a report by the Reuters news service, only the banner carrying the logo at the top of the public-facing NASDAQ website was visible the afternoon of Feb. 14.
Though mentions of the events showed up on several Anonymous-related Twitter accounts, including @youranonnews, it could not be confirmed whether the hacking collective was behind the attacks.
NASDAQ said its site experienced intermittent disruption for about 24 hours ending mid-afternoon Eastern time on Tuesday. BATS said its website experienced disruptions on Feb. 13.