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updated 2/15/2012 3:49:59 PM ET 2012-02-15T20:49:59

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET Wednesday.

Hackers hit the websites of the Nasdaq and the BATS stock exchanges yesterday (Feb. 14), knocking the sites offline for much of the day.

A Nasdaq OMX Group spokesperson told the international news service Reuters that Nasdaq.com had been battling distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks since late Monday (Feb. 13), and had not located the origin of the attack.

Nasdaq.com was back up at 9:00 a.m. ET today.

Nasdaqtrader.com was also affected, Reuters said. Both Nasdaq sites are separate from the Nasdaq trading system; no personal information was stolen as a result of the breach, and although the sites were down, stock trading was not affected in any way.

"The website wasn't hacked; nobody got any information," Nasdaq spokesman Joseph Christinat told Reuters. "What they did was try to block access for our users."

BATS, which stands for Better Alternative Trading System, is based in Lenexa, Kan. A BATS spokesperson told Reuters the exchange's main site, Batstrading.com, suffered DDoS attacks over the previous 24 hours as well, but trading was unaffected. Batstrading.com was back online as of 7:00 p.m. ET Tuesday.

As of this writing, the perpetrators of the attacks remain unknown.

This is not the first time Nasdaq has gone up against cybercriminals. Almost a year ago to the day, unknown hackers repeatedly compromised the Nasdaq network in an attempt to infiltrate Director's Desk, a cloud-based, Nasdaq-owned application that stores sensitive data, including internal financial reports, for hundreds of Fortune 500 companies.

Update: A little-known group calling itself "L0NGwave99" took responsibility for the attacks on the Nasdaq and BATS websites on Sunday, before the attacks began.

"The NASDAQ stock exchange besides a number of US stock markets are going to face some problems and may need maintenance ;), since in the coming hours the L0NGwave99 Group plans over them to perform a Distributed Denial of Service attack," read the broken English of a Pastebin posting timestamped Feb. 12.

The motive? "The 99% movement of the people has started in the US and many other countries, targeting the last enemy of the humankind, i.e. Capitalism of the Liberal Democracy," read the posting.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

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