Media: Hackers broke into the database of the US Securities Commission and earned millions on insider trading

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    According to CNBC, US federal prosecutors have charged unauthorized access to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) database for several individuals.

    According to the authorities, a group of hackers from the United States, Russia and Ukraine was able to break into the base with corporate reports. The attackers had access to private information from May until at least October 2016. Using this data, they were able to earn more than $ 4 million from insider trading.

    Cyber ​​attack details

    The cyber grouping was able to successfully attack the EDGAR system, which stores corporate documents of companies whose shares are traded on the exchange. The hackers used phishing emails containing malicious attachments to penetrate the SEC system. Emails were sent to the emails of SEC employees, and after one of them launched the attached file, the computer was infected.

    As a result, Hackers got unauthorized access to 157 profit reports that have not yet been publicly presented. These data allowed the attackers to make transactions on the stock exchange, knowing whether the shares of specific companies would rise or fall in the near future. Among the stolen documents are: earnings reports, mergers and acquisitions announcements and other sensitive information.

    Possession of such information before its official publication gives the insider a significant advantage in the market - according to the authorities, one of the traders involved in the scheme was able to earn $ 270,000 in just one trading day. Total criminal scheme brought $ 4.1 million in revenue.

    The hacking was carried out by a group of seven people, the cyber attack lasted several months - from May to at least October 2016. According to authorities, hackers had previously been part of the group that carried out hacking services with corporate press releases - then the data were also used for insider trading.

    What's next

    The incident triggered a new wave of discussions about the possible implementation of a system for monitoring insider trading. The Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) database should include information on all transactions conducted on US exchanges. Its main task is to collect data to analyze and identify suspicious activity in the markets.

    The introduction of CAT is constantly delayed, to date, the launch of the system is scheduled for November 2019. At the same time, representatives of stock exchanges are not very happy with the plans for the implementation of the system. So the administration of the New York Stock Exchange asked the SEC to limit the amount of data collected in the CAT. It is now planned that the system will store information on 58 billion transactions made daily, as well as data on traders, including their social security numbers and dates of birth.

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