Stock market IT security remains a problem as the websites of securities firms continue to be hacked and fraudulent transactions occur, according to experts.

Warnings about the risks were first made in 2006, but investment in IT applications has remained inadequate since then.

Late last year, several big companies' annual business reports were leaked because of poor data security.

The IT infrastructure for a safe and secure stock market remains weak even though most stock investors conduct their transactions via the internet. Internet connections are often slow as well.

Fifteen local stock companies' websites were weak enough to be hacked last year.

Changes in quantity and prices from investors can occur when hackers invade websites.

In addition, laws regulating IT applications need to be improved. For instance, an investor is allowed to open only one account, but they actually open several of them at different security companies.

There is no software that can control what investors do with multiple accounts.

"If IT applications were seriously implemented, management authorities, enterprises and securities firms would then be able to discover fraudulent transactions and other illegal activities," Nguyen Pham Hung, an IT expert, said.

With the current infrastructure, everything was found after illegal transactions had been completed.

"The investors who violate the law are given small fines, but the rest of the investors suffer huge indirect consequences," he added.

Authorities, securities and enterprises do not pay attention to the need for IT security.

"The stock market needs a complete infrastructure, as well as a well-trained IT staff," Hung said.

However, huge initial investment and an upgrade has limited the development of IT security.

"The State Securities Commission (SSC) should stop the operations of any securities firms not meeting requirements of IT security," he added.

After 10 years of stock operation, the SSC finally released regulations on the IT system for securities late last year. However, many details are being disputed./.