Reuters is reporting that the breach of Nasdaq's Web-based service, called Directors Desk, discovered in October of 2010 and not disclosed until February of this year, was much worse than first thought.

Directors Desk, says an article from the Wall Street Journal from February, "...lets leaders of companies, including board members, securely share confidential documents." At the time, sources close to Nasdaq said that "... as far as they can tell no information from Directors Desk, which is operated separately from Nasdaq's trading platform, was taken or compromised."

However, the Reuters story now says that its sources report that the hackers were able to install malware that allowed them to spy on what was happening at the Directors Desk. What was taken - and what was done with the information - is unknown, as is how long the malware was resident before it was discovered last October.

Both the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are investigating the incident.

Nasdaq says that it spends "nearly a billion dollars a year on information security" but even this amount apparently was not enough.

Nasdaq is not commenting on the story by Reuters other than to confirm that the investigation is continuing. I suspect a number of corporate directors are calling Nasdaq today asking them for a fuller explanation of what happened.

The Conversation (0)

Metamaterials Could Solve One of 6G’s Big Problems

There’s plenty of bandwidth available if we use reconfigurable intelligent surfaces

12 min read
An illustration depicting cellphone users at street level in a city, with wireless signals reaching them via reflecting surfaces.

Ground level in a typical urban canyon, shielded by tall buildings, will be inaccessible to some 6G frequencies. Deft placement of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces [yellow] will enable the signals to pervade these areas.

Chris Philpot

For all the tumultuous revolution in wireless technology over the past several decades, there have been a couple of constants. One is the overcrowding of radio bands, and the other is the move to escape that congestion by exploiting higher and higher frequencies. And today, as engineers roll out 5G and plan for 6G wireless, they find themselves at a crossroads: After years of designing superefficient transmitters and receivers, and of compensating for the signal losses at the end points of a radio channel, they’re beginning to realize that they are approaching the practical limits of transmitter and receiver efficiency. From now on, to get high performance as we go to higher frequencies, we will need to engineer the wireless channel itself. But how can we possibly engineer and control a wireless environment, which is determined by a host of factors, many of them random and therefore unpredictable?

Perhaps the most promising solution, right now, is to use reconfigurable intelligent surfaces. These are planar structures typically ranging in size from about 100 square centimeters to about 5 square meters or more, depending on the frequency and other factors. These surfaces use advanced substances called metamaterials to reflect and refract electromagnetic waves. Thin two-dimensional metamaterials, known as metasurfaces, can be designed to sense the local electromagnetic environment and tune the wave’s key properties, such as its amplitude, phase, and polarization, as the wave is reflected or refracted by the surface. So as the waves fall on such a surface, it can alter the incident waves’ direction so as to strengthen the channel. In fact, these metasurfaces can be programmed to make these changes dynamically, reconfiguring the signal in real time in response to changes in the wireless channel. Think of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces as the next evolution of the repeater concept.

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