SEC Says Hackers Breached System, Accessed Data

SEC Says Hackers Breached System, Accessed Data

SEC Says Hackers Breached System, Accessed Data

The breach involved Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR filing system, which houses market-moving information with millions of filings ranging from quarterly earnings to statements on acquisitions.

In a statement, SEC said the Edgar filing system data breach took place in 2016, but it is not yet known which companies may have been affected - or how much the hacker profited.

News of the incident comes after credit reporting agency Equifax earlier this month disclosed a breach that exposed the personal information of 143 million U.S. consumers.

While the SEC may be investigating the matter, they apparently did not tell Commissioner Piwowar. "Combining the difficulty of tying together multiple events with the difficulty of knowing what information was accessed means that from a purely cyber and digital forensics perspective, it could be incredibly hard to prove specific trades were tied to compromise at the SEC". It said the security vulnerability used in the hack had been patched shortly after it was discovered.

The order put responsibility for cybersecurity on the shoulders of the director of every federal agency, making it more hard for executives to pass the buck to their information technology staffs.

In a public statement Wednesday, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said the organization detected an intrusion by attackers in 2016, which it said "provided the basis for illicit gain through trading".

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It is not believed that any personally identifiable information or SEC operations were compromised, the agency added.

"It's hugely problematic and we've got to be serious about how we protect that information as a regulator", Huizenga said.

He was assured in his belief that there was no personal data exposed in the breach.

Wall Street's top regulator came under fire on Thursday about its cyber security and disclosure practices after admitting hackers had breached its database of corporate announcements in 2016 and may have used it for insider trading. The SEC regulates what companies must disclose to shareholders about breaches.

"Malicious attacks and intrusion efforts are continuous and evolving, and in certain cases they have been successful at the most robust institutions and at the SEC itself", Clayton said.

But it is what the unknown hackers were able to see and make use of that has forced SEC to disclose the breach. "We also must recognize-in both the public and private sectors, including the SEC - that there will be intrusions, and that a key component of cyber risk management is resilience and recovery".

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