Marketplace has a new podcast for kids, "Million Bazillion!" EPISODE OUT NOW

Nasdaq hack results: lax

Marketplace Staff Nov 18, 2011

You know, when you land that sweet job with a corner office and perfect views of the skyline. Occupy protesters look like ants way down below, and you get a key to the executive washroom. Nasdaq has its own version of the executive washroom. It’s actually software, called Directors Desk, that lets honchos with businesses listed on that exchange send messages back and forth, and it was hacked into last year. Now a review of that hack reveals Nasdaq’s security to be on the soft side of safe. According to Reuters, the Federal Bureau of Investigations has been looking into the breach and “found that Nasdaq’s basic computer architecture was sound, which kept its trading systems safe from the hackers.” But even hacking into software that Nasdaq movers and shakers communicate on could have huge repercussions. Let’s say a hacker gets access to Warren Buffet’s Directors Desk account. Said hacker can then say, as Warren Buffet, “I’m going to sell all these IBM shares I just bought.” Whispers start. Dominos fall. Mother loses her nest egg and has to move in with me. Not good. The good news is that it seems the hackers got into accounts through known vulnerabilities. So the lesson once again, is keep your operating systems and browsers up to date. You shouldn’t drive your car without oil, and you shouldn’t run your computer without updates.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.