back to article GCHQ: A cyber-what-now? Rumours of our probe into London Stock Exchange 'cyberattack' have been greatly exaggerated

GCHQ and its cyber-defence offshoot NCSC have both denied that they are investigating a cyber-attack on the London Stock Exchange, contrary to reports. The Wall Street Journal, normally a reliable source for news with a financial flavour, reported that British signals intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters …

  1. Dr Who

    Nothing to see here

    A) Massive cover up to avoid tipping off the Russians that we're on to them.

    B) A software upgrade gone wrong.

    Drawing on all the experience gained over a long career in IT troubleshooting, on balance, having assessed all the possibilities and even though the client tells me the problem is definitely B, I'd still have to say that the most probable cause is A.

    1. cbars

      Re: Nothing to see here

      You missing the joke icon?

      I know nothing about LSE but it's always B... surely?

      1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Nothing to see here

        It's always the DNS.

        Except when it isn't.

        1. gerdesj Silver badge
          Gimp

          Re: Nothing to see here

          DNS, timesync, turn it off and on. That trifecta will fix 89.k% of problems.

      2. Mr Humbug

        It reminds me of

        https://xkcd.com/1180/

        except: s/virus/hackers

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Where is the device driver bubble? That used to cause the most pain (especially after an update)

    2. Blazde

      Re: Nothing to see here

      An equivalent in financial markets is something like this:

      A) Massive cover up by the state and relevant corporations to avoid market panic/board resignations/societal breakdown

      B) A few anonymous individuals concocted a juicy sounding hit piece around a kernel of truth in an attempt to gain financially from resulting market uncertainty

      (I'm not saying it's A but can confirm I'm not long in LSE)

      1. sbt Silver badge
        Coat

        That old saw applies? Never* attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity

        * OK, these days, maybe 'rarely' fits better.

        Mine's the one with the matching dunce cap.

  2. JohnG

    I wonder if there is any correlation with redundancies at the LSE, announced in the same period.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      If it's anything like the banking systems in this country then they've probably gotten rid of the only people who understand how most of their shit works*.

      *So many systems are inter-connected and running on bespoke scripts that it requires time and brains to understand. Making changes without being able to fully assess the impact is like playing Russian roulette with an Uzi.

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The Gift that just keeps on Giving ........ ad Infinitum and Beyond the Realms of Time? *

    She added that the LSE "has thoroughly investigated the root cause of the issue to mitigate against any future incidents."

    Sounds very much like ye olde always currently fatal prevention is better than cure route ...... because it provides no root cause of the issue accommodations/problem solutions.

    * A Persistent ACTive Cyber Threat with Heavenly Treats for Hellish Consumption :-)

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: The Gift that just keeps on Giving ........ ad Infinitum and Beyond the Realms of Time? *

      A huge pulsating ever-growing compromise that rules from beyond the centre of the ultraworld? Sounds fun!

  4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Why not ?

    "The NCSC has not treated the LSE outage as a cyber security related incident and has not investigated it as such."

    So without investigating they know that an event that knocked out the stock exchange for 90mins wasn't an attack?

    That's some premium grade crystal balls you have there

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Why not ?

      Surely the word "cyber" is redundant and should no longer be used by anybody who wants to be taken seriously?

      Secondly, perhaps they don't consider it to be a security issue because the LSE hasn't reported any security issues and/or they are aware of a borked update or the like?

      Not everything is the Russians (alternative bad guys available).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why not ?

      Just coz they're not doesn't mean someone else isn't...remember the dirty work swap game...if a foreign agency does it there are no rules of engagement...apart from DO NOT get Turkey'd.

      If the locals do it you have to play nicely...or it can get messy when you get caught.

  5. heyrick Silver badge
    Happy

    I'm very familiar with the matter

    I read about it in the Daily Mail...

    1. Ima Ballsy
      Coat

      Re: I'm very familiar with the matter

      Isn't that the T&A Publication ?

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: I'm very familiar with the matter

        It is shelved alongside other Fantasy titles in the newsagents if that helps

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: I'm very familiar with the matter

          "other Fantasy titles"

          Not so much Lord Of The Rings as Fifty Shades...

  6. steelpillow Silver badge
    Trollface

    GCHQ was "examining if the software code may have played a role in the outage. Officials are looking at timestamps affiliated with the code's production, which could offer clues to its origin."

    Semantic analysis distils out the following message; "You are one dumb reporter just crying for bait."

  7. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
    Devil

    To my mind,

    The NCSC has not treated the LSE outage as a cyber security related incident and has not investigated it as such.

    Translates as

    We know which cleaner it was plugged the hoover into the UPS and have already given them their P45.

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Facepalm

      "[GCHQ was] examining if the software code may have played a role in the outage. Officials are looking at timestamps affiliated with the code's production, which could offer clues to its origin."

      Translates as:

      "We're going to work out which of the feckless devs committed the new code that fscked everything up without testing it first."

      My guess is that this was just an own goal caused by poor coding practises.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quote: "The NCSC has not treated the LSE outage as a cyber security related incident and has not investigated it as such."

    *

    No....it was an attack by GCHQ to drum up business for the NCSC!! Failed on two counts:

    1. The NCSC says it wasn't an attack.

    2. So no opportunity to spend any of Philip Hammonds "extra" billion pounds.

    *

    Can't get anything right in Cheltenham!!!

    1. BigSLitleP Silver badge

      It's no wonder you posted as AC....... I wouldn't want to be associated with this dumbass comment either.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        I think/hope there is a "Joke" icon hiding behind the Fawkes mask...

  9. Imhotep

    Fishy Chips

    Perhaps the WSJ has hired some crack tech reporters from Bloomberg?

    *Google Bloomberg SuperMicro

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10?

    Did they migrate to Windows 10?

    Perhaps the problem is simple after all? Automatic updates/reboot anybody?

    "Please do not turn off your computer while we annoy the hell out of you and reboot 15 times, and yes, we know you have work to do now, but we don't care! That's your problem, not ours. So suck it!" message.

    Once completed, finally finish off with a good old BSOD, because the update decided your hardware is too old now and removed a critical driver.

    /joke

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As I understand it GCHQ/NCSC don't carry out investigations themselves generally. They just point some of the larger commercial companies your way and you pick up the tab.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      That very much depends on who has been compromised.

      If there is a national interest element, you can bet your arse that they will want in on any investigation.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Oh yes they want the information, they just won't pay for the investigation.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Well, it is in everyone's interest to have dedicated professionals do the investigating ;)

  12. ForthIsNotDead

    sudo reboot

  13. Danny 2 Silver badge

    FTFY

    The Wall Street Journal, ̶n̶o̶r̶m̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ once a reliable source for news

    In fact, isn't this stolen from the plot of Messiah? Netflix should sue. Next there will be someone killed in the middle east after travelling to the border of Israel and Syria...

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