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Representatives from BAE Systems Applied Intelligence have disclosed that one of their customers, a major hedge fund, was the target of a successful attack on their critical systems, ultimately costing the firm “millions.”

The attackers sought to disrupt the firms’ trade order system and surreptitiously harvest details of the attempted trades, which were then transmitted to destinations outside the firm’s network.

“It’s pretty amazing,” BAE’s Paul Henninger said. “The level of business sophistication involved as opposed to technical sophistication involved was something we had not seen before.”

The company did not disclose the name of the hedge fund firm, but did reveal that another customer – a major property and casualty insurer – had their underwriting systems compromised. The attackers created bogus insurance policies and made attempts to submit false claims against them.

The duration of both attacks was not released, but Henninger’s comments suggest that both attacks may have lasted for a significant length of time.

“It often takes a while for firms to get comfortable with the idea of exposing what is in effect their dirty laundry to a law enforcement investigation,” Henninger said. “You can imagine the impact potentially on investor confidence.”

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