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ASIC: clients should "urgently" review online trading account security

Unauthorised trading hits users from several unnamed firms.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has warned online stockbroking accounts users to check their computer security after discovering "several" intrusions during recent surveillance.

ASIC on Friday advised clients of these companies to "urgently" review their account security, noting an unspecified number of account intrusions involving unauthorized access and trading.

"ASIC is working with online stockbroking firms to help those clients who have been impacted," it said in a statement Friday.

"ASIC is also working with other authorities to identify the source of the intrusions and pursuing a line of enquiry consistent with similar incidents in overseas markets."

The Commission advised clients to change account passwords, ensure their security software was current, and check transaction histories, advising them to do the same with bank accounts.

Another well-documented risk which ASIC did not mention in its advice is the common practice of using either a weak password or one that is shared across multiple accounts.

The latest instance in which tens of thousands of Australian government and corporate employee email addresses, usernames and passwords were exposed occurred just prior to Christmas after hackers breached the servers of US security intelligence company, Stratfor.

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