nasdaq

Hackers Attack Nasdaq: Is it a False Flag Operation?

Feb 5, 2011

Hackers have attacked Nasdaq and penetrated its defenses. Feds are now investigating.

nasdaq Hackers Attack Nasdaq: Is it a False Flag Operation?

With yesterday’s announcement that Tunisian Anonymous hackers will attack Egyptian government websites, hacking is back in the news.

According to the Wall Street Journal, quoting “people familiar with the matter,” the Nasdaq’s trading platform was not compromised. These officials are unsure if any other parts of the Nasdaq’s network were breached.

“The Nasdaq situation has set off alarms within the government because of the exchange’s critical role, which officials put right up with power companies and air-traffic-control operations, all part of the nation’s basic infrastructure. Other infrastructure components have been compromised in the past, including a case in which hackers planted potentially disruptive software programs in the U.S. electrical grid, according to current and former national-security officials.”

The motive for the hacks is unknown, with some involved in the investigation claiming the hackers might be looking for a way to monetize their efforts. But, perhaps it is a group of hackers who merely want to attack financial institutions for the subversive pleasure or because of an ideological belief in free information, like Anonymous.

But, with Senator Joe Lieberman’s “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010″ (known as the “Internet Kill Switch”) getting some publicity in the wake of the internet’s role in the North Africa revolutions, could it be that this is merely a false flag operation to help push the bill through the legislature?

If you have never heard of a False Flag Operation, here is some instruction.

A false flag is a covert operation (espionage, that is) in which an act by one group is designed to resemble the actions of another group.  If we apply this to the Nasdaq hacks, there is the possibility—however small it might be—that government or private actors are claiming a hack and blaming it on a nefarious group of invisible hackers.

Just a theory.

On the other hand, it might just be hackers snooping around, looking for weaknesses they can exploit for a full-scale attack. Or perhaps it is a group of hackers who are looking to breach security in order to report it to the security firm and get a nice payment for their efforts.

Whatever the case, I’m sure the U.S. government will use it as proof to push Lieberman’s legislation all the way to the President’s desk.

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