The HKEx has been attacked by hackers before, but not on such a large scale.
HK bourse website hacked Wednesday
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) halted trading of several listed companies Wednesday afternoon citing "technical difficulties" with its news Web site likely caused by a hacking attack, Caixin.com reported.
The news portal, which publishes listed companies' filings and financial results, became inaccessible around midday Wednesday. Seven Hong Kong-listed stocks and one bond, all of which released price-sensitive information earlier that day, were suspended from trading at approximately 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
HKEx's other systems were not affected and trading in its securities and derivatives markets continued to operate normally, officials at the bourse said in a news release.
A preliminary investigation by the stock exchange's technical department attributed problem to hacking. But the source and purpose of the attack were not yet clear, HKEx CEO Charles Li said at a briefing Wednesday.
"I want to emphasize that [hacking] is the current assessment," Li said. "Hopefully we can bring it [the site] back online as soon as we can."
The HKEx has been attacked by hackers before, but not on such a large scale, Li said.
Officials at the exchange used another site, www.bulletinboard.hk, to publish issuers' filings during Wednesday's outage.
The news site had resumed operation Thursday morning, but a spokesperson at the exchange said the bulletin board will continue operation in parallel with the HKEx news Web site Thursday.
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China's business press carried the story above on Thursday.