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Don't you find it somewhat ironic that the one part of
Nasdaq's website hackers were able to break into was the Directors Desk portal,
an online application that allows directors to share confidential information
about their boards and corporate governance? It's almost as if the hackers were
sending a message to one of the world's largest online equity markets: "we know
boards don't understand IT governance and security risks; so we'll show you how
vulnerable you are."
That's not the way the story is playing in business
publications and online. Many news reports [Wall Street Journal and New York Times] are saying law enforcement officials
(including the FBI, Secret Service and the SEC) believe the motive behind the
weekend hacking was that the perpetrators were trying to get non-public inside
information to gain a trading advantage. After the Wall Street Journal broke
the story Friday, it became clear Nasdaq had been dealing with this issue for
more than a year and that it could indicate a broader attack on other U.S.
market exchange websites.For an exchange whose business model relies on a
complex network of computers, Nasdaq OMX (the exchange's official name) decided
to act quickly when it found out. It has reiterated that information technology
security is priority No. 1 in today's fast-pace technology-driven world.
Check out the statement the company issued soon after the
Wall Street Journal ran. If you look closely, you will notice it made the point
of saying the trading side of the website was not breached. Unfortunately for
Nasdaq, the Directors Desk portal itself touted its "highest level of security
available to protect confidential board communications."
Read the rest of this article on the Corporate Governance
Blog, a blog by Gary Larkin
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