Computers on the Russian Stock Exchange were blasted with an unnamed computer virus and shut down Moscow’s Russian Trading Exchange (RTS) last Thursday.
The planned attack knocked out trading on three markets and lasted for about an hour. The statement from the exchange said the problem was fixable once they were able to track down one of the computers with the malicious program.
The RTS vice president, Dmitry Shatsky, said in the statement, “The virus got into a computer connected to a test trading system from the Internet.
“The infected computer started generating huge volumes of parasitic traffic, which overloaded the RTS’ support routers. The result was that normal traffic – data going into and out of the trading system – was not processed.”
“While all the world was in a frenzy over the Nyxem damp squib, this attack infiltrated the RTS and could have potentially given hackers access to their systems,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. “A virus which can disrupt a stock exchange can have obvious financial consequences, as well as harm the important credibility of an institution in the public’s eye, and this should act as a wake-up call for any business which is not taking the virus threat seriously.”
At this point investigators are still working on how the hack was perpetrated, however they are sure it was planned attack.