The hackers who compromised systems belonging to the NASDAQ stock market last year were able to install monitoring software that allowed them to spy on the doings of corporate directors, Reuters is reporting.
The news adds critical details to the story of an October, 2010, compromise of Director’s Desk, a Web-based application that is used by the boards of NASDAQ-traded companies to share documents and communicate with company executives.
The hackers were able to access confidential documents and the communications of board directors, according to the report, which quotes Tom Kellermann, chief technology officer at security technology firm AirPatrol Corp.
As reported by Threatpost, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been assisting the NASDAQ in its investigation, which is ongoing. So far, investigators have evidence that whoever placed the monitoring software was able to spy on “scores” of directors who logged onto directorsdesk.com. It is also not known how long the software was installed before it was detected and removed last October, Reuters reports.
Systems that are used to run the nation’s financial systems and stock markets are considered part of the U.S.’s critical infrastructure and are frequent targets of attack. In one recent incident, the FBI reported that a longtime employee of CME Group in Chicago stole proprietary algorithms used by CME to run trading systems on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.