SEC Chairman reveals financial reporting system was hacked

Posted September 22, 2017

Wall Street regulator Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday said hackers past year breached its system for storing documents filed by publicly traded companies, potentially accessing data that allowed the intruders to make illegal profits.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a statement on September 20, which said that it learned in August 2017 of a cyberattack previously detected in 2016 might have allowed illicit gain through trading.

Ukrainian hackers, for instance, compromised the networks of agencies such as Business Wire, PR Newswire, Marketwire for five whole years, stealing more than 150,000 news releases (including quarterly financial results) from publicly traded companies before they were made public.

The top securities regulator in the United States said Wednesday night that its computer system had been hacked previous year, giving the attackers private information that could have been exploited for trading.

This is not the first time the SEC has exposed financial data.

The agency says the "software vulnerability. was patched promptly after discovery", and didn't reveal any personally identifiable information.

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Securities and Exchange Commission said a software vulnerability allowed access to private information and may have led to illicit trading. The test filing portion of EDGAR is used to verify that information submitted through EDGAR is accurate before it is sent on to the SEC and then to the public.

A top USA financial regulator faces questions about its preparation for cyber attacks, after disclosing a breach of its database of company filings.

An investigation into the breach and its possible consequences is ongoing, and the SEC said that it is cooperating with the "appropriate authorities".

The SEC hosts large volumes of sensitive and confidential information that could be used for insider-trading or manipulating US equity markets.

The agency said it did not believe that the breach had involved personal information or that it would jeopardize the agency's activities. "However, in light of the intense public interest and the potential impact of this matter, I can confirm that FTC staff is investigating the Equifax data breach". "We must be vigilant".

Last week, in response to a reporter's question about the fallout from the recent Equifax hack, Clayton said the agency was working to increase public awareness of the "substantial systemic risks" associated with cybersecurity.