Hong Kong Stock Market Hit by Hackers
Trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange was disrupted this week after hackers targeted the exchange. Seven stocks were suspended after the website used to inform traders of company announcements was hit.
The site was temporarily shut, with trading in seven firms due to make announcements via the site suspended.
Shares in HSBC, Cathay Pacific, China Power International and the Hong Kong exchange itself were among those suspended.
"Our current assessment (is) that this is a result of a malicious attack by outside hacking," said Charles Li, head of Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEC), in a statement. HKEC runs the Hang Seng exchange.
Mr Li said the company was looking into the motive for the attack and what hackers sought to gain from it. The incident has been referred to the police as well as the Securities and Futures Commission.
Reports earlier in the year outlined hacking as the key threat to business during 2011, and this has proved correct with a series of major organizations suffering hack attacks during 2011. These include the IMF, Google, Sony, Citygroup, Booz Allen and Lockheed Martin.
None of the other systems operated by Hong Kong Exchanges was hit in the attack and its securities and derivatives markets ran as normal.
The Hong Kong exchange is one of many stock markets that have been hit by hackers. The Zimbabwe stock exchange was attacked in early August and in February, the US Nasdaq revealed that cyber criminals had planted malicious code on its "Directors Desk" web application.