Hackers attacked the Hong Kong Stock Exchange this week and forced the exchange to stop trading on some of the largest stocks it handles. The attack was on a website run by the exchange that tells traders about company announcements. The attack forced the site to be shut down and seven companies that were to make announcements that day were suspended from trading for half a day as a result.
The stocks that were forced away from trading after the attack included HSBC, Cathay Pacific, and China Power International as well as the Hong Kong exchange’s own stock trading. The head of the stock exchange, Charles Li, noted that the assessment of the exchange is that the attack was the result of a malicious outside party.
Li noted that the exchange is looking at possible motives for the attack and has notified authorities and the Securities and Futures Commission. The attack made the announcement website unreachable and the method that the hackers used to force the website offline isn’t known yet. When the website was attacked, there was price sensitive information due to be released via the website.