Pakistan Exchange to Probe Data Leak After Staff Members Removed

Pakistan’s Karachi Stock Exchange formed a team to investigate possible data leaks and removed some employees for acting inappropriately.

“The management received information in August 2013 alleging that in 2008 there was misappropriation in the purchase of some IT hardware and some IT personnel had access to KSE’s IT system during that period,” according to a statement issued by the exchange dated Feb. 7. The management “removed from service several IT staff as they were deemed to have acted inappropriately.”

The bourse put together a group of outside forensic specialists and senior exchange management to probe whether any data was leaked amid vulnerabilities related to the bourse’s computer network as identified by consultants, according to the statement. The KSE 100 Index (KSE100) fell 1.6 percent at 1:27 p.m. in Karachi, heading for its biggest loss in four months.

Reuters reported last week the exchange is investigating whether staff profited from years of unauthorized access to real time trading data. The KSE 100 has surged about 380 percent in the past five years as rising consumer spending boosted earnings in an economy hurt by power blackouts and a Taliban insurgency. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who came to power in June, is moving to overhaul the economy through share sales of state-run companies and improved infrastructure.

A separate review of the IT department will be finished by the end of this month, the exchange said, while a report produced by consultants in December 2013 didn’t find any evidence of leaked trading data.

To contact the reporters on this story: Faseeh Mangi in Karachi at fmangi@bloomberg.net; Khurrum Anis in Karachi at kkhan14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Patterson at mpatterson10@bloomberg.net

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