SEC Suffers Breach, Hackers Potentially Obtain Corporate Information

blue digital binary data on computer screen

No matter how information is stored, it’s important that it is stored securely. Many individuals still rely on paper for their important information, despite the fact that identity theft is more common with paper documents. However, that is not to say that digital storage is 100% secure, either.

This can be seen with the recent scandal involving Equifax in which personal details concerning up to 143 million people were stolen. But corporations are not the only ones that have issues with digital security. Just recently the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) had a breach of its own.

According to the article on, SEC Chairman John Clayton released a statement about the organization’s cybersecurity. What is interesting about this statement is that it says SEC was hacked. Only the hack occurred in 2016.

“In certain cases, threat actors have managed to access or misuse our systems,” Clayton writes. “In August 2017, the Commission learned that an incident previously detected in 2016 may have provided the basis for illicit gain through trading.”

According to the statement, hackers exploited a vulnerability in the “EDGAR” system that SEC uses. This system is a vast archive of financial records for companies in the U.S. stock exchange. Hackers that know what to look for could use this information to gain an advantage in the stock market.

“We believe the intrusion did not result in unauthorized access to personally identifiable information, jeopardize the operations of the Commission, or result in a systemic risk,” Clayton said.

The Chairman also went on to state that the breaches and vulnerabilities had been patched once noticed. They are currently looking into exactly how the breach occurred, and Clayton discloses that there are some possible ways. Missing laptops containing nonpublic information, as well as instances of nonpublic information being transmitted via email accounts. This accounts would have been personal, non-secured, email accounts.

Currently, 95% of corporate information exists on paper. This is decreasing daily. Both the Equifax and the SEC incidents prove that strong security is needed when it comes to valuable information. Firewalls and routine updates and monitoring of security systems are a must in a world that is going increasingly digital.

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