Sophisticated hackers are making mainstream security software less and less helpful, and financial institutions are worried. So worried that they have called upon the National Security Agency for help. The NSA is collaborating with banks and securities firms, identifying malware and potential risks before they can be exploited. Hackers broke into the Nasdaq network last year leaving various honchos vulnerable to snooping. For Wall Street, gone are the days of just keeping the old Norton anti-virus software up to date.

Reuters reports:

The NSA and big arms makers have a treasure trove of data on hacking, including intelligence on planned attacks and libraries of malicious software code used by foreign-government supported hackers that are not available elsewhere." The article goes on to say: "About eight out of ten Wall Street firms have been infiltrated by foreign-government backed hackers, according to Tom Reilly, who helps investment banks fight hackers in his role as the head of Hewlett-Packard Co's security business.

The NSA is just one resource.

U.S. financial institutions have also sought assistance from private defense contractors that help the U.S. government build cyber weapons and tools for defending military networks.

Companies such as Lockheed, General Dynamics Corp, Boeing Co, Northrop Grumman Corp and Raytheon Co are now competing with traditional security vendors to serve corporate America, including banks.

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