• / Free eNewsletters & Magazine
  • / My Account
Home>SEC staff forced to tell chairman about hack when stolen data used by inside trader

SEC staff forced to tell chairman about hack when stolen data used by inside trader

SEC staff forced to tell chairman about hack when stolen data used by inside trader

09/26/2017

By Francine McKenna, MarketWatch

Despite immediately patching the hole hackers went through, inside traders were now using the non-public information stolen from SEC systems.

Securities and Exchange Commission lawyers reluctantly realized while investigating an insider-trading case in August that it was time to tell new chairman Jay Clayton about a major breach of the agency's systems that happened in 2016. Why now? Because despite immediately patching the hole that hackers went through, their case was based on the non-public information stolen from the SEC's own systems.

In an unexpected 4,000-word statement (https://www.sec.gov/news/public-statement/statement-clayton-2017-09-20)on general cybersecurity issues published Sept. 20, Clayton buried the news of the 2016 hack at the halfway point.

He will tell the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday that the agency believes the 2016 intrusion was caused by the exploitation of a defect in custom software in its Edgar filing system. According to his prepared congressional testimony seen by MarketWatch on Monday, Clayton says he wasn't told about it until three months into his new job.

The SEC Office of Information Technology staff took steps in 2016 to fix the defect in the custom-developed software code and reported the incident to the Department of Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Readiness Team. Then SEC staff crossed their fingers and hoped that the thieves would never use the non-public Edgar filing information for illegal insider trading.

Those prayers were not answered. The agency, and fellow self-regulators like Nasdaq and Finra, are getting too good at identifying unusual trading patterns. They look for the "too good to be true" wins that likely come from timely confidential information. Recent insider-trading cases highlight the SEC's enhanced capabilities in tracking and zeroing in on traders who are cheating.

See also:SEC using high tech to connect illegal insider trading to sources (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sec-using-high-tech-to-connect-illegal-insider-trading-to-sources-2016-10-13)

©2017 Morningstar Advisor. All right reserved.