A report by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has revealed that about 53% of exchanges have been hit by a cyber-attack in 2012.
IOSCO said attacks were disruptive in nature rather than motivated by financial gain, differentiating these cyber-crimes from traditional crimes in the financial sector such as fraud and theft.
The report said: "While cybercrime in securities markets has not had systemic impacts so far, it is rapidly evolving in terms of actors, motives, complexity and frequency."
IOSCO said cyber-attacks on stock exchanges have focused on non-trading related online services and websites so far and have not come close to knocking out critical systems or trading platforms.
About 93% of respondents in the survey said they have measures in place to address a cyber-attack.
The survey found that all organisations are able to identify a cyber-attack within 48 hours of it occurring and around 93% said cyber-threats are discussed and understood by senior management.
In the survey, about 89% of stock exchanges said that cyber-crime in securities markets should be considered a systemic risk.
The survey was carried out jointly by the IOSCO and World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), which is the trade association for the operators of regulated financial exchanges.
IOSCO’s membership regulates over 95% of the world’s securities markets in more than 115 jurisdictions.
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