FTSE dismisses Web site hack

Web site defacement no more than a marketing glitch?

Leading financial index the FTSE has dismissed a recent attack on its Web site as no more than a juvenile prank and reassured customers that no vital data was at risk.

There has been growing concern over the impact of security breaches on the success of e-business in Britain, but the FTSE is quick to play down the incident. The attack, which occurred early on Friday, replaced the official homepage of the FTSE (www.ft-se.co.uk) -- with a boast -- "cOZ we can, we do and we wont stop" -- from a cracking group calling itself Kat Krew.

A spokeswoman dismisses the incident. "The front is effectively a marketing tool," she says. "This is why it wasn't particularly hard to hack." She says that the page was quickly repaired and no critical business information could have been accessed. The company is currently reviewing its Web defences and is considering putting additional security in place. The FTSE is co-owned by the London Stock Exchange and the Financial Times and provides an indices of leading stock market companies.

Kevin Black, a security specialist with e-Security argues that a company in such a position has a responsibility to safeguard its information. "If you're thinking of doing security properly, the proper place to start is where there is public access and they should ensure the integrity of their data," says Black. "One of the big holdups in terms of using the Net is security. Financial companies ought to be leading the way."

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