Bloomberg Businessweek reported that after an exhaustive investigation by federal agencies, the hack appeared to have been an attempt by a foreign intelligence agency. A more foreboding sign about the October 2010 attack came when experts said the malware code was designed to cause damage, Businessweek added.
The attempt against the Nasdaq was stopped, yet the attack underscored the vulnerability of financial exchanges to digital assault. According to the report, Secret Service officials had once contacted the stock market with evidence that Russia-based cybercriminals hacked the Nasdaq, and that it could be related to the 2010 incursion. But other investigators doubted the link to Russia, Businessweek said.
Asked about the connection, Russian Embassy spokesman Yevgeniy Khorishko told the magazine: "It is pure nonsense that it is not even worth commenting on."
In a statement to the magazine, the Nasdaq said the malware had been discovered during "a routine scan" and that the incursion was limited. "We have no information anything was taken," the stock market told the publication.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Roger, R-Mich., told Bloomberg that "a nation-state" was behind the attack, "and it's not crystal clear what their final objective is."
"The bad news of that equation is, I'm not sure you will really know until that final trigger is pulled," Rogers said. "And you never want to get to that."
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