Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Open Source Linux News

London Stock Exchange Was 'Under Major Cyberattack' During Linux Switch 98

Posted by Soulskill
from the waffles-tasty-waffles dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Computerworld UK: "The London Stock Exchange's new open source trading system may have been hacked last year, according to a report. The alleged attack came as the LSE began the switch over to the Linux-based systems, according to the dates referred to in the Times newspaper. The continued threat of cyber attack has resulted in the LSE keeping a close dialogue with British security services, which this year branded cyber attacks as one of the biggest threats to the country. There were major problems on the exchange on 24 August, when stock prices of five large companies collapsed."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

London Stock Exchange Was 'Under Major Cyberattack' During Linux Switch

Comments Filter:
  • Oops! Exception Encountered Error Running Custom Exception handler Error Type: Expression : [N/A] Error Messages: Element CURURL is undefined in REQUEST. Tag Context: ID: ?? LINE: 227 Template: D:\websites\www.computerworlduk.com\handlers\Main.cfc ID: CFINVOKE LINE: 629 Template: D:\JRun4\servers\www.computerworlduk.com\cfusion.ear\cfusion.war\Coldbox\system\web\Controller.cfc ID: CF_UDFMETHOD

    A threat to national security!

    • This type of error is unexceptional in that you expect it to be exceptional.
    • by nzac (1822298)

      Error Messages: Element CURURL is undefined in REQUEST.
      The whole site is down....

    • Oops! Exception Encountered Error Running Custom Exception handler Error Type: Expression : [N/A] Error Messages: Element CURURL is undefined in REQUEST. Tag Context: ID: ?? LINE: 227 Template: D:\websites\www.computerworlduk.com\handlers\Main.cfc ID: CFINVOKE LINE: 629 Template: D:\JRun4\servers\www.computerworlduk.com\cfusion.ear\cfusion.war\Coldbox\system\web\Controller.cfc ID: CF_UDFMETHOD

      Where would the D: drive be mounted in Linux?

       

      • Oops! Exception Encountered Error Running Custom Exception handler Error Type: Expression : [N/A] Error Messages: Element CURURL is undefined in REQUEST. Tag Context: ID: ?? LINE: 227 Template: D:\websites\www.computerworlduk.com\handlers\Main.cfc ID: CFINVOKE LINE: 629 Template: D:\JRun4\servers\www.computerworlduk.com\cfusion.ear\cfusion.war\Coldbox\system\web\Controller.cfc ID: CF_UDFMETHOD

        Where would the D: drive be mounted in Linux?

        I don't know but its better having it there than on A: drive.

        • by Rob Kaper (5960)

          I don't know but its better having it there than on A: drive.

          Not if you want a mobile website.

      • /mnt/sda2 or /mnt/sdb1?
      • by ais523 (1172701)

        Windows most commonly uses D: for a CD-ROM drive, thus most likely it would be at /media/cdrom or /media/cdrom0 (possibly both). However, that error message looks like it more likely refers to a second hard drive or second hard drive partition; that would be /dev/hdaN (for some N) or /dev/sdaN (again, for some N) while unmounted, and could well be mounted anywhere (although /home, /usr, /var are places which often get partitions of their own).

        Using Wine on Linux, there's a config file that lets you effectiv

        • by Anonymous Coward

          most likely it would be at /media/cdrom or /media/cdrom0 (possibly both).

          That's /mnt/cd or /mnt/dvd, thank you.
          Now take yer' dang newfangled LSB and get off my lawn. ;-)

        • Having had the misfortune to be a Windows SysAdmin for a web hosting company last year, I can attest that the D: is where the website(s) is/are stored and served out from.
          • by I8TheWorm (645702) *

            At that company maybe. The most common drive letter I've seen assigned is F:\<dirname>. That seems to be the typical server side assignment for shared fileservers.

      • by WorBlux (1751716)

        Where would the D: drive be mounted in Linux?

        Where ever you wanted it to be

  • by Anonymous Coward

    'may have been' another piece of MS-sponsored FUD?

    • by Dionysus (12737)

      'may have been' another piece of MS-sponsored FUD?

      Of course, since everybody here knows Linux systems do not get attacked

      • Re:FUD (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mangu (126918) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @05:32AM (#35065364)

        'may have been' another piece of MS-sponsored FUD?

        Of course, since everybody here knows Linux systems do not get attacked

        Yes, at least that's the official Microsoft version. There are no viruses for Linux because no one uses it.

    • Re:FUD (Score:5, Funny)

      by Eudial (590661) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @08:28AM (#35066262)

      Ad banner: Your PC is currently under attack from thousands of viruses! Click here to prevent it from broadcasting it's IP address to hackers.
      LSE Employee: Blimey! Ring the secret services! This is cyber war!

    • Maybe.

      Contrast:

      The London Stock Exchange’s new open source trading system may have been hacked last year, according to a report.

      with:

      As the concern and speculation deepens around the LSE outages, the exchange is due to switch on the new Linux systems on its main exchange in two weeks’ time,

  • Oops! Exception Encountered
    Error Running Custom Exception handler
    Error Type: Expression : [N/A]
    Error Messages: Element CURURL is undefined in REQUEST.

    Whoops!

  • The website is extremely vague as to timelines of what system was in place when there were issues. Was .NET still in place, or was it indeed the Linux system when it got hacked. I'd like to see more details.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @04:16AM (#35065042)

      As the concern and speculation deepens around the LSE outages, the exchange is due to switch on the new Linux systems on its main exchange in two weeks’ time, with dress rehearsals over the coming two weekends. The system replaces a Microsoft .Net architecture.

      As the Linux system isn't due to go "live" for another fortnight, I'd expect that it is the .NET based system that has been hacked.

      • by cronius (813431)

        As the Linux system isn't due to go "live" for another fortnight, I'd expect that it is the .NET based system that has been hacked.

        I agree, but we can't be sure.

        The London Stock Exchangeâ(TM)s new open source trading system may have been hacked last year, according to a report.

        It would be nice to see the actual report this news item is based on.

        • As the Linux system isn't due to go "live" for another fortnight, I'd expect that it is the .NET based system that has been hacked.

          I agree, but we can't be sure.

          That said, if the LSE had switched to Linux and immediately been hacked after (presumably) years of running securely on .NET, I expect the Redmond PR machine would have leapt into action, and we'd be seeing a lot more articles, and they'd be very specific about which O/S was running.

          Instead, we have one vague and potentially misleading article

      • by bernywork (57298) <bstapleton.gmail@com> on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @07:51AM (#35066044) Journal

        What I've heard is this. It's all hearsay, so is probably as factual as the FA.

        The LSE is trying to (Stupidly) save face. They tried to go live and it was an absolute shit show, typical companies got about 20% compliance. There was no way they could roll forward, they had issues with firewalls, members had issues with routing and firewalls, trades weren't going through the system correctly for settlements, there was more bugs in member's code than ants in a nest. If they had said "We're going live anyway" there wouldn't have been a market on Monday morning. Aside from that, everyone goes into freeze for Christmas due to everyone taking time off, so it wouldn't have been sorted till at least after now, by which time, LSE would have lost so much business to the likes of NYSE (And potentially to Borsa Italiana, which is owned by the LSE) that it would be questionable whether they would still be in business by this stage.

        They claimed previously that they were internally sabotaged, well, the running theory was that they just fucked up. To everyone involved that seems like a much more plausible option.

        • This article by the same guy [computerworlduk.com] makes it seem like you're right.

          the LSE put the highly-publicised December outage of the system - which already runs on its Turquoise anonymous trading venue - down to “human error”. It declined to give more details.

          They started off with the "suspicious circumstances" line but police glanced at it, smirked and said "You guys screwed up."

          Why TFA even talks about Linux is, as most posters have pointed out, a mystery. In Leo King's bio (the author of TFA) it says he studied Spanish and French in college. I'm gonna go with the "don't attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity" approach and just assume that this Spanish/French speaking "journalist

    • by rhade (709207)
      as the hot blonde in Forgetting Sarah Marshall said 'booshit booshit booshit'
    • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara DOT huds ... a-hudson DOT com> on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @11:00AM (#35067656) Journal
      It was .NET that was in place. The switch-over will only occur on February 14th of this year.

      Also, there was no police investigation.

      But the Metropolitan Police, the e-crime unit and the City of London Police all told Computerworld UK that no such investigation was ongoing.

      The system currently in place (.dot.NET-based) failed to meet the specs, because, try as they could, Accenture could not get a windows-based platform to run fast enough - too much letency.

      The exchange finally realized it, and called for a linux-based system, which easily met the time guarantees - but obviously it's late, because it was only started when the exchange realized that the Microsoft-based system was never going to meet the performance goals.

      In other words, after Microsoft spent big bucks in all the trade magazines bragging about "winning the contract against linux" - and making it sound like they were replacing a previous linux-based system, you won't hear a peep from them admitting that their servers are sh*t.

      • by Smallpond (221300)

        The system currently in place (.dot.NET-based) failed to meet the specs, because, try as they could, Accenture could not get a windows-based platform to run fast enough - too much letency.

        Windows is totally lacking in letency.

  • by Centurix (249778) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {xirutnec}> on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @03:58AM (#35064964) Homepage

    Part of thinks that these guys may have had easy access to the stock exchange system through whatever backdoor they had. Closing it then pissed them off so they went on the attack.

    • by SimonInOz (579741) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @04:52AM (#35065194)

      Let's see - the London Stock Exchange swapped to Linux based software. It changed FROM Microsoft based software. (TradElec Windows-based C# and .NET programs, apparently).

      And there was a major cyber attack during the changeover.

      Let the conspiracy theories begin ...

    • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @05:23AM (#35065316)

      not necessarily - they might have thought it was the ideal "opportunity moment" - attack the system when they're undergoing a transition and not only might they get away undetected, but they might also cause more damage than before (ie with servers turned off ready to be replaced with the new software, the capacity would be reduced).

      It isn't necessarily Microsoft fanboi hackers trying to discredit the migration to Linux (and getting their dates cocked up)

      • by Thing 1 (178996)

        It isn't necessarily Microsoft fanboi hackers trying to discredit the migration to Linux (and getting their dates cocked up)

        Yeah I have a hard time (lol pun was not intended) imagining Microsoft fanboi hackers "cocking up" their dates...

  • by BenJCarter (902199) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @04:07AM (#35065010)
    It gives me the heebie-jeebies to think of what could happen to a trading network connected to the Internet. I imagine Stuxnet [wikipedia.org] aimed at financial systems. Shudder.
    • by tehcyder (746570)
      Why would you want your trading network connected to the public internet?
      • by Bert64 (520050)

        They will be connected somehow, because using the public internet as a transit backbone is the easiest way of getting a connection from a far away location (laying your own dedicated fibre isn't really practical), even if all your traffic goes over a VPN.
        Also many trading companies will be connected into the exchange, who knows what state their networks will be in.

    • by pasv (755179) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @05:43AM (#35065412) Homepage
      If Stuxnet taught us anything is that even systems not connected directly to the internet are still very much vulnerable. Spear phishing and other targeted attacks towards the maintainers/developers of those systems are just as effective if not more so than attacking the system head-on. I'll take the cape of Captain Obvious here but anyone funding an attack sophisticated enough to pull off a Stuxnet-like payload is more than likely well invested in the return of said attack. But of course no one could ever earn any money hacking a stock exchange system right? ;)
    • by funkatron (912521) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @06:07AM (#35065496)
      Yeah, it would be slightly inconvenient but have some perspective, we're talking about one little service industry here. In terms of importance it ranks well below things like power, water, communications, shopping, manufacturing, research. A stuxnet aimed at any of those would be a whole lot more damaging.
    • by Eevee (535658)

      I imagine Stuxnet aimed at financial systems. Shudder.

      Yeah, nothing is as scary as the idea of a stock exchange's centrifuges being attacked.

    • by Frekja (982708)
      You don't have to look too far - the EU carbon trading market was recently hacked, with 30 million euros stolen. Two weeks later it's still down.
  • The number of people able to access any other port than the 1 or 2 necessary for exchange functions should number in the single digits for the production servers ... and even they shouldn't use computers with general internet access for that, at most computers with a "hardware" VPN solution. Hell given the amount of money involved I wouldn't even let non production servers and source code be accessed on any computer with general internet access ... fuck convenience, for this kind of money you can afford a w

    • The article says:

      Unlike US exchanges, the LSE platform is not based on the internet, and therefore is less vulnerable to general cyber attacks.

      ...and it doesn't detail the attacks. Maybe somebody tried a dictionary search on a web server, probably looking for something to spam from?

    • by newbish (909313)
      Hey at the end of the day is was a application built by Accenture... my guess is it wasn't the operating system or .net framework that was hacked or there would have been a lot more compromised sites.
  • No worries. The LSE collapses due to fatal infosec problems and the UK taxpayer picks up the bill. We could probably pick up some bargain-basement deals on whichever companies were affected by the trading system collapse too. In the long term, allowing poorly secured systems to fail is a kind of digital natural selection.

    • by funkatron (912521)
      Hate to say it but the lie this year is that there's no money. Officially we can't even afford to educate people. Bailing out the LSE would show both that the lie is in fact a lie and that some idiot in gov't has really really mixed up priorities. If the LSE goes, it's gone.
  • by Organic_Info (208739) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @06:03AM (#35065480)

    The London Stock Exchange (LSE) have not yet moved on to the new Linux based Millenium trading platform - this is scheduled to happen on Feb 14th. It was supposed to have happened late last year but was delayed.

    A subsiduary of the LSE, the Turquoise Multilateral trading Facility (MTF) has already migrated to the MIT platform though.

    • by chrb (1083577) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @09:11AM (#35066494)
      Yes, the article has several errors:
      • "The London Stock Exchange's new open source trading system" ... except, the trading system isn't open source. Sure, it runs on the Linux kernel, which is open source, but so does Oracle...
      • "There were major problems on the exchange on 24 August, when stock prices of five large companies collapsed. Most notably, BT shares lost £968 million, and the LSE was forced to halt trading for the day." On 24 August the LSE was running the Windows .NET trading platform... the halt of trading had nothing to do with the new Linux platform.

      So, the big story here is that the LSE Windows based platform was possibly hacked and manipulated for financial gain. Why Computer World focuses on the Linux angle is a mystery.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        They focused on Linux because a story about .net being attacked isn't news worthy. On the other hand, framing it such that linux may be in the spot light means people are chattering about linux and their story. This seriousl,y sounds like ms sponsored FUD.

  • by seeker_1us (1203072) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @07:49AM (#35066038)

    From one of the comments

    This article is incredibly short on details and clarity. The systems 'compromised' appear to have still been running .NET, but the heading seems to just want to throw Linux and Risk into the same sentence. The complete lack of facts makes this seem like FUD.

    "A half truth is a whole lie" ---Yiddish proverb.

    • by E5Rebel (1103761)
      No, the London Stock Exchange and the UK police are the ones who have clamped down on the info. They believe the LSE was under cyber attack and this occured during the shift from the .Net platform to the new LInux platform. The London Stock Exchange issued a set of contradictory statements at the time of the attack and about what was going on with migration to the new Linux platform. The LSE said the attack was suspicious and that they had called in the police. Every appropriate police force contacted by Co
      • by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @11:57AM (#35068194)

        So how much is MS paying for that spin?
        Their trading system could not meet latency requirements and now they need someway to save face.

      • by yuna49 (905461)

        Then why did you run the story knowing that it's "incomplete" instead of waiting for more details to become available? It's not like this is a story that needs to be rushed out before deadline. The lead sentence says this story covers events that happened last year.

        If you are going to run a story like this, you need some significantly better editorial controls that what it seems were employed. How about starting off with a specific time-line of events so we can have some idea which systems were involved,

      • by coolmadsi (823103)

        Every appropriate police force contacted by ComputerworldUK denied any knowledge of an investigation or of having been contacted by the Exchange. This sort of blanket denial usually only happens if the authorities believe there may be some terrorist aspect to the incident.

        It could also mean that they weren't contacted at all, and that there actually is no investigation going on.

        It wouldn't be the first time someone has publicly announced they are going to contact the police about something but actually don't; I remember a few years back reading a story about that Jack Thompson fellow (the one who didn't like video games) publishing a letter he was going to send to a police department somewhere, and forwarded it to many news agencies and people to show what he had said. But

  • Love the FUD! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @08:04AM (#35066114) Homepage

    This is just awesome. Just when you would think it would be impossible to spin an attack on a major Microsoft based trading system, they omit Microsoft, insert Linux and speak of the dreaded cyberattack.

    I have to wonder who and why. Anyone have any background on the author and the publication's history on Linux and Windows stories?

    • by Ancantus (1926920)

      Anyone have any background on the author and the publication's history on Linux and Windows stories?

      Leo King is the authors name, his bio says he is the "chief reporter at Computerworld UK".

  • I assume (Score:4, Funny)

    by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @08:42AM (#35066340)
    the byline reads "Steve Ballmer".
  • Out of many different securities markets LSE has most bizarre bureaucratic procedures, rules, and provisioning processes. In the past years their market share shrunk a lot under pressure from much simpler to deal with MTFs (BATS, Chi-X etc.) Seems like they have too many people busy making work for themselves and their clients.
    Besides they have not switched to Millennium (Linux based) yet. I'm not holding my breath though. Millennium platform is developed by Sri-Lancan Millennium IT. Out of all places where

    • by arth1 (260657)

      Uh oh. That means it's almost certainly Java, which never is a good idea for low-latency systems. Where RT, ULL and GRIO is concerned, it's pretty much the last choice I'd recommend.

  • by aminorex (141494)

    microsoft?

  • Did they use an external firm, to do this? If so, how come someone knew that at that time they were changing systems, and would know that the change was one of the OS, unless it came from the inside, I would look at who had access to that info, and then maybe go from there...
    If someone leaked from the inside, then there would be a trace, usually...as this costs many millions of dollars.

  • "The London Stock Exchange's new open source trading system may have been hacked last year"

    And where's the evidence, the article is technically erroneous and totally short on any verifiable facts.

    "Unlike US exchanges, the LSE platform is not based on the internet ..

    "The new Linux system, based in a C++ environment"

    Please define a 'C++ environment', and provide examples?

    link [computerworlduk.com]

  • Imagine that in the conversion from MS Windows server to Linux, the attack succeeded on the Linux side. Who would profit from the publicity? Would some company pay to have such attacks take place? Just some far-out thoughts.

The most delightful day after the one on which you buy a cottage in the country is the one on which you resell it. -- J. Brecheux

Working...