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Security The Almighty Buck

Nasdaq Intrusion Spreads To Listed Companies 50

Posted by Soulskill
from the careful-they-might-tank-the-economy dept.
New submitter SpzToid writes "Nasdaq's Directors Desk is a program sold to both listed and private companies, whose board members use it to share documents and communicate with executives. Apparently Directors Desk was infected during a breach widely publicized earlier this year. It has now become known that hackers were able to access confidential documents and communications of the corporate directors and board members who received this infected application, said Tom Kellermann, chief technology officer with security technology firm AirPatrol Corp. It is unclear how long the Directors Desk application was infected before the exchange identified the breach, according to Kellermann and another source."
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Nasdaq Intrusion Spreads To Listed Companies

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  • Re:Disturbing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by causality (777677) on Friday October 21, 2011 @07:04PM (#37799894)

    The idea of a secured system designed for the sole purpose of allowing executives and board members of the corporations to communicate in secret is profoundly disturbing on so many levels...

    Yes. I'll say up-front that I don't advocate such a criminal activity and anything I say next should be interpreted in that context. I'll add that my reason for this isn't because I'm so sympathetic to the execs who were made to look stupid by this breach, nor do I blindly believe that everything which is legal is good and everything which is illegal is bad, but because I imagine it would be serious prison time if anyone doing it got caught. I'm tempted to say that if caught, they should receive a medal, not prison time.

    Having said that ... I smiled and felt a certain satisfaction when I read this news. They may have made the legal system and the financial system into their personal playgrounds, and established a revolving door between the two, but this finally is one arena where they are going to get humbled again and again. The hackers who perpetrate such attacks are idealistic and can do a great deal with little or no organization, making them quite difficult to include in the corruption represented by their targets of choice.

    By contrast, we long ago gave up any serious notion of our politicians actually representing us and implementing some serious transparency and accountability in either system. I have said before and will reiterate again, you breed lawlessness when you systematically eliminate every legitimate "working through the system" method of effecting change or obtaining justice. Want to go through the court system? Well I hope you have lots of money and years of your life to invest in something you are likely to lose anyway. Want to run for office? I hope you don't cross the political and financial interests who can get you there, who are the gatekeepers much more than the voting booth has ever been. Most people are law-abiding and will stop there. Others, not so much.

    The power brokers who will be humiliated and maybe even harmed by this are simply reaping what they have sown. This is one realm where they are not so untouchable. In my opinion, it's healthy for society that they be reminded of that from time to time, and any decent person with principles wants that to happen in this sort of nonviolent manner. If you haven't noticed, people are getting fed up with the status quo and the direction in which it is moving. Something has to change; this is an amicable way for it to happen.

  • Re:Disturbing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shoten (260439) on Friday October 21, 2011 @07:08PM (#37799934)

    The idea of a secured system designed for the sole purpose of allowing executives and board members of the corporations to communicate in secret is profoundly disturbing on so many levels...

    Actually, it makes an enormous amount of sense. Keep in mind that things like IPOs, discussion around delisting, and other decisions that involve both a stock exchange and a public-traded company don't just happen. There's a good bit of communication that has to happen first, and even a rumor about some events can have impact on that company's stock price. So just as it is with company-internal information about financials during a quiet period just before an official announcement, it makes sense for there to be a channel of communications whereby things can be kept quiet until they are deliberately (rather than accidentally) disclosed.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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