Nasdaq has acknowledged that suspicious files were found on some of its systems. The files were apparently a result of hackers gaining access to at least one of their servers. According to reports the breach happened late last year and the suspicious files were found on servers for a product called Directors Desk.
Directors Desk appears to be a web based application for facilitating information sharing for board meetings. They describe their clients as “more than 10,000 directors around the globe, from Fortune 500 companies like Eastman Kodak to mid-size publicly traded firms like SonoSite.”
It’s not clear what the hackers did or what they were after. Were they looking for corporate meeting minutes to use for insider trading? A server to play Call of Duty on? Was this system just a foothold into the Nasdaq network? This may have just been the easiest way in. It is pretty common with older applications that input filtering is not performed thoroughly (if at all). Without input filtering an attacker can inject commands into the pages on the site and gain access to the back-end database and server. So make sure your Internet facing web applications are locked down.