A computer virus attack caused the RTS Stock Exchange to suspend trading on its three main markets Thursday.
The malware infected an Internet-connected computer and generated a large amount of outgoing email traffic. Legitimate incoming and outcoming email was interrupted by the virus's activities. Trading was suspended for over an hour on Thursday afternoon while the Exchange tracked down the source of the outbreak.
"The virus got into a computer connected to a test trading system from the Internet," RTS vice president Dmitry Shatsky said in a statement. "The infected computer started generating huge volumes of parasitic traffic, which overloaded the RTS's support routers. The result was that normal traffic - data going into and out of the trading system - was not processed."
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos says the attack should act as a wake-up call for any business which is not taking the virus threat seriously.
"While all the world was in a frenzy over the Nyxem damp squib, this attack infiltrated the RTS and could have potentially given hackers access to their systems," he says.
Trading has now resumed at the Exchange, which claims that no data was stolen during the assault.