The Hong Kong stock exchange (HKEx) halted trading this afternoon for seven stocks after its website was hacked during the morning trading session.
The seven stocks in question were all due to release sensitive results to the website that could impact the price of their stocks.
Although the Hong Kong stock exchange also operates an alternative backup site for posting the results, it chose to halt trading of the affected stocks for the afternoon session.
Stocks affected included HSBC, Cathay Pacific, China Power International and the Hong Kong exchange itself.
It is unclear at this point whether the attack actually compromised the site, or if it was merely a denial of service attack.
Charles Li, the Chief Executive of the exchange said that the hack only impacted the website and no systems involved in trading or financials were impacted.
Trading will resume normally for the seven stocks in tomorrow’s session utilizing the backup bulletin board if the website cannot be secured properly before the market open.
This follows on the heels of attacks against the Nasdaq stock exchange in February of this year.
The systems responsible for trading are not hooked up to the internet, which should provide an additional degree of protection.
It was refreshing to see Mr. Li not blame the attacks on ueber-sophisticated, foreign, advanced ninja hackers, but rather state the facts and explain what the exchange is doing to ensure the integrity of the market.
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