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Schwab CEO issues 'sincere' apology, reassures on data security and calls attacks a 'fact of life' after website goes down

Walt Bettinger also declares mea culpa surrounding long wait times for telephone service late on Tuesday

Thursday, April 25, 2013 – 3:08 AM by Brooke Southall
Admin:
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Walter Bettinger: There was a period late yesterday in which wait times were excessive.

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Peter Giza

Peter Giza

April 30, 2013 — 9:18 PM

Brooke,

I think Walt’s use of the term “attack” was quite appropriate because that is exactly what it is. In this case, a DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack has been going on for some time and are an effective method to get some point across be it political or otherwise.

The “black hole” in this case is a friendly term. It is a drain hole to redirect the DDOS traffic into. As I brought out at the FPA Business Tools meeting in Chicago this year, hacks and exploits are run by major crime organizations and political factions, not some 15 year old kid down the block. These groups hire very talented engineers and spend millions of dollars on technology. Political groups use hoards of compromised “ ombie” computers known as botnets (mentioned above) to do their dirty deeds.

With regard to this being “a fact of life” there is no getting away from that. DDOS is nothing new and as long as the Internet is an open platform it will continue to be an issue. While DDOS attacks represent a serious inconvenience they do not represent a security risk in of themselves.

A greater risk to RIAs exists in their browsers, browsing habits and access to client data outside of the confines of their offices or trusted environs. We live in a highly connected world that enables exploitation from faraway places and by groups we may never have heard of or paid attention to. Education and keeping your head is the best protection.

Pete

PS. For more information on the FPA series I referenced please see: http://bit.ly/ZUwGLX and http://bit.ly/14QCHh2

Brooke Southall

Brooke Southall

April 30, 2013 — 9:30 PM

Good perspective, as usual, Pete.

thank you,

Brooke

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