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Hackers targeting SEC likely profited from illegal stock trades

by Leigh Jones
Posted 9/21/17, 11:45 am

The Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. government’s financial regulator, revealed late Wednesday that hackers breached its data systems last year, stealing information possibly used to make illegal trades. The SEC’s Edgar filing system includes corporate information on quarterly earnings and statements on mergers and acquisitions. Anyone privy to the information before it’s made public can use it to anticipate rises or declines in stock prices. Officials continue to review the breach to determine the extent of the stolen material. Although they discovered the hack last year, regulators did not conclude until last month that the cybercriminals probably used the information to make illegal trades. The latest high-profile data breach comes two weeks after credit-reporting agency Equifax Inc. revealed hackers targeting its systems might have gained access to personal data on 143 million Americans. Both incidents reveal the difficulty of protecting electronic data from those seeking to steal it, analysts say.

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Leigh Jones

Leigh is acting managing editor for WORLD Radio. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.

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