The hack of an aspect of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Edgar filing system occurred past year, the regulator said in a statement.
A major computer hack at America's top stock market regulator is the latest sign that data stored in the highest reaches of USA government remains vulnerable to cyber attacks, despite efforts across multiple presidencies to limit high-profile breaches that are so frequent many consider them routine.
While the SEC may be investigating the matter, they apparently did not tell Commissioner Piwowar.
The SEC first detected the intrusion in 2016 but only last month became aware that stolen information may have been used for illegal trades.
The breach occurred because of a software vulnerability in Edgar, the SEC said in its statement.
In its statement, the agency did not release further details of the attack, including whether it had resulted in disclosure of any information about particular companies.
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In May 2017, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton initiated an assessment of the agency's internal cybersecurity risk profile and approach to cybersecurity.
The SEC says it had known about the intrusion in 2016 into its Edgar filing system, but learned this month that "nonpublic information" accessed may have been used for "illicit gain". It also found the SEC hadn't implemented certain parts of its information security program, such as maintaining up-to-date network diagrams and monitoring key systems' security configurations.
"Failure to do so may result in an enforcement action", he warned, although the SEC is yet to ever bring any such action against a non-complying company.
Our question is, who should be responsible for protecting your personal information online?
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.
"We believe the intrusion did not result in unauthorised access to personally identifiable information, jeopardise the operations of the commission or result in systemic risk".
The SEC uses the EDGAR system for oversight of the system of public reporting by issuers and other registrants. "We must be vigilant".
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