Cyber attack threats continue to grow


It's fair to say that the SEC and other government agencies have awakened when it comes to cyber threats.

After a string of hacks that victimized the likes of Citigroup, RSA and Google, the SEC recently issued some guidance about disclosure issues in the wake of an attack. Some companies are acting on the flip side as well, disclosing possible risks associated with potential cybercrime in financial filings. has noted that the CME Group included in a recent filing a warning about the hacking group Anonymous and others who might start some sort of attack on an exchange or financial firm in sympathy with the Occupy Wall Street movement. The filing noted that Anonymous ostensibly issued a warning recently that it would embark on a denial of service attack on the NYSE. To be sure, people claiming to be from Anonymous quickly disavowed that threat.

In general, it would be hard to link hackers with the protest movement at this point.

"We're not sure if CME really means to lump Occupy Wall Street together with Anonymous so indiscriminately, or if it's a kind of rhetorical sleight of hand. For our part, we haven't heard of any Occupy Wall Street-linked cyber-attacks--beyond suggestions that Anonymous members supporting the movement might try to hack the New York Stock Exchange--and to our eye the two groups seem pretty different, except perhaps for a penchant for pseudo-revolutionary sloganeering and a generally anti-corporatist attitude," according to the post, which seems right on.

But whether hacking groups and the protestors are aligned or not doesn't really matter. Exchanges and banks face a new world of security threats, and the biggest criminals frankly may not give a hoot about Wall Street. Just look at the recent breach at Nasdaq, which compromised board-level information at a host of countries. In many ways, the scariest threats are those behind the rise in so-called Advanced Persistent Threats. Beware.   

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