Only a week after news of the massive Equifax hack hit, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it too was hacked. The SEC hack took place in 2016 and according to a report from Reuters, the hackers could have profited from using insider information to make trades. Michelle Price writes:
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said the hack occurred in 2016 but that it had only discovered last month that the cyber criminals may have used the information to make illicit trades.
The hackers exploited a software glitch in the test filing component of the system to gain access to non-public information, the agency said.
The SEC hosts large volumes of sensitive and confidential information that could be used for insider-trading or manipulating U.S. equity markets. Its EDGAR database houses millions of filings on corporate disclosures ranging from quarterly earnings to statements on mergers and acquisitions.
Although the SEC “promptly” patched the vulnerability after detecting it in 2016, the regulator only became aware last month that the glitch “may have provided the basis for illicit gain through trading”, it said.
This all begs the question, if America’s most critical financial information is vulnerable to hackers, is anything safe? It’s imperative that you remain diligent about using strong passwords, updating your computers’ software, and not opening or downloading anything from suspicious web pages or emails. This is the minimum level of security you need to employ to begin the process of protecting your information.
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