Cyber attackers trying to influence stock trading

Posted On 31 Jan 2014
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Prolexic Technologies has said that cyber attackers are using DDoS attacks in an attempt to influence market values and interfere with exchange platforms. The Prolexic Security and Engineering Team (PLXsert) details the findings in a white paper, DDoS Attacks Against Global Markets. ” Typically, DDoS attacks are launched to fuel public discourse, or for revenge, extortion and blackmail” but that is changing,” explains Stuart Scholly, president of Prolexic.” During the past few years in particular, DDoS attack campaigns have posed a significant threat to the financial services industry, as well as other publicly traded businesses and trading platforms. As part of our DDoS attack forensics, we have uncovered a disturbing trend: Many of these malicious attacks appear to be intent on lowering the target’s stock price or currency values, or even temporarily preventing trades from taking place.” The public image of a global business or financial service is closely associated with its cyber presence. Taking a publicly traded firm or exchange platform offline” and spreading rumours that raise questions about its ability to conduct business online” can create false or misleading appearances. This is a hallmark of market manipulation. Overall, PLXsert found a direct relationship between DDoS cyber-attacks and a temporary change in the valuation of a company. ” A few specific cyber-terrorist groups are responsible for most of these attacks. So far they have not been successful in bringing down an entire major marketplace,” says Scholly.” But DDoS attacks keep getting bigger, stronger, longer and more sophisticated, so we cannot be complacent. What’s more, the risk goes beyond the actual outage” social media chatter and media coverage can amplify the perceived effect, disruption and damage caused by a cyber-attack campaign.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.