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August 10, 2011

Hack attack disrupts Hong Kong Exchange

Malicious attack by 'outside hacking' being probed; Exchange sets up online bulletin

By CBR Staff Writer

Hackers have reportedly disrupted trading on the the Hong Kong stock exchange on Wednesday, blocking access to company announcements during the lunch hour.

Hong Kong stock exchange is one of the biggest stock exchanges in the world in terms of market capitalisation. Cathay Pacific Airways and five other stocks were halted because of the hack attack, according to Bloomberg.

The hack took place on a day when companies including Hong Kong Exchanges reported earnings.

After the company announced interim results, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEx) chief executive officer Charles Li confirmed the attack, saying, "Our current assessment that this is a result of a malicious attack by outside hacking."

The exchange said that trading in its securities and derivatives markets operated normally. Head of listing at HKEx Mark Dickens said that in case the website fails to recover on Thursday, the stocks will be not suspended and the exchange will use its online bulletin board to post information.

"This has affected the creditability and trustworthiness of information at a very critical time," said Charles Mok, who heads the Hong Kong division of the Internet Society, an international standard-setting group. "The situation is very worrying because the hacking is targeted at the information disclosure mechanism."

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The hacking attack is being investigated by the technology crime division of the Hong Kong Police’s Commercial Crime Bureau.

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