Trading 212, a fintech company and FCA-regulated broker, today said that its platform was under distributed denial-of-service attacks, or DDoS, that attempted to paralyze its system with a flood of information.
That problem was resolved within an hour, and the retail broker said that despite the third-party protection service did not work properly, the users are now able to use the platform normally.
We were a subject of a DDoS attack and the third-party protection service didn’t work properly. We are working on resolving it as soon as possible.
Any updates or additional information will be announced in a timely manner.
— Trading 212 (@Trading212) November 3, 2020
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The cyberattacks had seemingly limited disruption to trading activities as the brokerage house told clients it did not impact upon their shares or account information. There was a short breakdown in connections and it just barred users from logging into their accounts.
“All of your assets & personal information are safe,” Trading 212 said without revealing further details. In responding to queries on the attack, the IT department did not give an explanation for the issue, but they quickly restored services.
Trading 212 said earlier that it had more than 400,000 account openings since the start of the year and its number of funded accounts rose to 600,000 in 2020. This makes Trading 212 the second biggest broker in the UK in terms of the number of retail accounts, adding that they also surpassed 1 billion in client assets under management.
The company was the first retail UK broker to offer commission-free trading and its core product portfolio consists of stocks, ETFs, FX, and derivatives products.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are fairly common in the financial markets, where malicious attackers attempt to disrupt the trading service by overwhelming the servers with a flood of unwanted traffic. However, DDoS attacks are a bit less scary than hacks that cause clients to lose funds.
NZX, the only registered securities exchange in New Zealand, also experienced DDoS attacks in August, which managed to take it down for nearly a week.
Despite the ongoing development in brokers and exchanges’ technical infrastructure and engineering staff, the latest incident reminds traders that access to even major platforms may become degraded or unavailable during times of significant volatility or cyber-attacks.