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Nasdaq Community Forums Hacked, Passwords Compromised

Aaron Pressman
The Exchange

Computer hackers penetrated a section of the Nasdaq OMX Group’s (NDAQ) Internet site used as a community forum for discussing stocks, the exchange said Tuesday.

The breach did not affect any of the Nasdaq’s trading or commerce platforms, spokesman Joe Christinat said.

Users of the community bulletin boards received an email message from Nasdaq on Tuesday disclosing that user names, email addresses and passwords may have been compromised.

“We have identified the issue and we are in the process of upgrading and restoring the community. We will notify you as soon as the community is live,” said the email, signed by Bruce Hashim, vice president of online services.

Users were told to reset their password for the Nasdaq site and any other site where they might have used the same password.

The site itself was offline Tuesday afternoon. “We are currently upgrading the NASDAQ.COM Community Site,” a message on the Web page read. “We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Nasdaq lists and oversees trading for many of the largest U.S. technology stocks such as Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG).

Increasingly, hackers have sought to break into seemingly low-value targets such as the Nasdaq's community site in order to steal the huge lists of user passwords. Such lists can be compiled into software that speeds up the process of breaking into more-secure sites that may contain valuable information.

Hackers also hit the Nasdaq back in 2011. The exchange discovered suspicious files on its servers and called in the FBI.