US spooks investigate stock exchange attack

Top US spooks at the National Security Agency (NSA) have joined the investigation into last October’s cyberattack on the computer network of the company that runs the NASDAQ stock exchange.

According to Business Week, the NSA’s electronic intelligence agency will reportedly join efforts by the Secret Service and FBI into a security breach at New York-based Nasdaq OMX Group.

When the attacks were first spotted in February, it was thought that they had not compromised the tech-heavy exchange’s trading platform.

But it turned out that the hack was more extensive than Nasdaq said and it may take investigators months to find out which areas were hacked.

The NSA probe is expected to focus on how far the attack reached and which other systems may have been breached.

The fact that the NSA is involved indicates that the attack might have come from a foreign power although investigators are looking at other motives for the breach, including personal financial gain and theft of trade secrets.

Initially it was believed the attack came from Russia, but that turned out not to be the case, and investigators are still trying to determine the source of the attack.

Nasdaq representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

It is not the first time that NASDAQ has been bought to its knees by hackers. In 1999, a group called “United Loan Gunmen” defaced NASDAQ’s public Web site.

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