A hacking assault on Wall Street is coming to light nearly a year since it happened. Nathan Rousseau Smith (@FantasticMrNate) reports.
The Securities and Exchange Commission was in the hot seat after it admitted hackers made their way into its EDGAR electronic filing system last year and made off with information it believes might have been used to make money illegally in the stock market.
U.S. lawmakers were stung by the news, late Wednesday, of the breach of the SEC’s sensitive corporate data — a disclosure that comes just two weeks after Equifax, one of the nation’s three largest credit bureaus, revealed that hackers were able to access the private financial data of 143 million people.
A Senate banking committee will seek answers Tuesday in Washington, when members, at a previously scheduled hearing, will likely grill SEC chairman Jay Clayton — who took over the SEC’s top post in May — on the timeline and details of the data breach.
The breach involving Wall Street’s top cop may be unsettling “burglary” of market-moving data, but it’s no Equifax in terms of consumer exposure. However, the hack that allowed cyber thieves to burrow into a government regulator’s database filled with millions of corporate filings about earnings, mergers and digital trading footprints does little to instill confidence in the integrity of the market that millions of Americans depend on to fuel their 401(k) and pension investments.
“It won’t make mom-and-pop investors feel comforted to know that the regulator keeping their investments safe got hacked,” says Joe Saluzzi, co-founder of Themis Trading and co-author Broken Markets.
Members of the House of Representatives also say they are in fact-finding mode. In an interview with USA TODAY, Congressman Bill Huizenga of Michigan, chair of the House subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment, said: “We all need to dive in more deeply as to what happened here.”
What troubles Huizenga is the fact that everyone knows the SEC is a prime target of hackers, “and clearly not enough attention was paid to securing” the corporate data in its filing system.
“We can’t view this as a victimless crime. It was a burglary. Market-moving information like that has got to be protected,” said Huizenga. “Regulators have to…