AOH :: ISN-3154.HTM

IDA clients suffer security breach

IDA clients suffer security breach
IDA clients suffer security breach 

By Shane Schick

The securities firms that reported the breach have not confirmed the 
means by which accounts were accessed, but the Investment Dealers 
Association (IDA) pointed to pharming Web sites as another possible 

Only two accounts were affected, although the IDA said it was alerted by 
a U.S. regulator about a similar situation that happened there.

In the instances reported to the IDA, client portfolios were sold out, 
the warning notice posted on the IDA Web site says. The credit was then 
used to place buy orders for specific securities listed on the OTC 
Bulletin Board or NASDAQ pink sheets.

IDA vice-president of enforcement Alex Popovic said it was the first 
time the association has been notified of a security breach involving 
the online accounts of its member institutions. The security of the 
account system itself wasn't compromised, he said. There's encryption 
you would need to get past to get in, but the weak point is the person 
that accesses it - if they have somehow disclosed their password.

Vince Hwang, group product manager at Symantec Security Response, said 
some criminals use a combination of phishing e-mail messages and 
vulnerabilities in Microsoft operating system environments to download 
malicious software that can record keystrokes or find other ways to get 
into a system. In general, the attacks are becoming more sophisticated 
because the motivation is financial gain.

They're taking the time to craft these socially engineered messages, 
said Hwang. Some pharming Web sites may in fact take users to the 
legitimate secure area of a financial institution's Web site first but 
include an additional link to verify status.

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