Tech

Statement On Cybersecurity, SEC Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar

Statement On Cybersecurity, SEC Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar

The US Securities and Exchange Commission was hacked a year ago, and information gleaned from the intrusion "may have provided the basis for illicit gain through trading", the agency revealed this week.

Data from EDGAR, which is used to receive and publish corporate filings to the agency, "may have provided the basis for illicit gain through trading", Clayton said. "As another example, our Division of Enforcement has investigated and filed cases against individuals who we allege placed fake SEC filings on our EDGAR system in an effort to profit from the resulting market movements".

The SEC, like most companies, doesn't fully understand how the information in its various databases can be used.

The commission said it learned in August that an incident detected a year ago "was exploited and resulted in access to nonpublic information".

Mr Clayton said that companies needed to consider whether they were adequately disclosing "information about their risk management governance and cyber security risks" to the public.

It discovered the hack previous year, but says that it wasn't until August 2017 that it noticed additional effects of the hack.

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The SEC said it has been conducting an assessment of its cybersecurity since Clayton took over as chairman in May.

It said that while the vulnerability was "patched promptly after discovery", that did not occur before it "was exploited and resulted in access to nonpublic information".

The statement from Clayton also mentioned that some SEC laptops that could have stored private data were unable to be located during an internal review of the body in 2014. The Commission doesn't believe the event exposed personally identifiable information or produced systemic risk. If, however, hackers were able to use nonpublic information to affect stock prices, then bouncing back from a hack may not matter: The damage is done to the market, its investors, and its affected companies.

"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 as one of the world's largest collectors of sensitive information, America's federal government is a major target for hackers from both the private sector and foreign governments.

"The chairman obviously recognises the irony of the SEC potentially serving as the unwitting tipper in an insider trading scheme", said John Reed Stark, president of a cyber consulting firm and a former SEC staff member. "We must be vigilant". He did not provide many details about the breach or the extent of any illegal trading.


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