Today I published an article on LinkedIn (what the heck, I thought I would try LinkedIn as a media outlet) entitled, “A New Era of SEC Enforcement: Policing ‘Outsider Trading.’” My article brings together, and updates, several of my prior Stark on IR postings concerning the SEC’s foray into so-called “outsider trading.” From the article:
“Late in 2014, and early in 2015, the SEC began issuing new and novel requests and subpoenas to public companies about any and all data breaches (or attempted breaches) they have experienced. The SEC apparently selected the public companies that, according to cybersecurity firm FireEye, had experienced recent data breaches targeting inside information. FireEye had previously released a December 1, 2014 report about a group of hackers called “FIN4.” The report said that Fin4 was targeting the email accounts of top executives, lawyers and others in an effort to obtain non-public information about merger and acquisition deals and major market-moving announcements. Next, in August 2015, the SEC began filing enforcement actions (in parallel with criminal prosecutors) against the perpetrators of these new and novel hacking schemes the SEC had been investigating.
Hence, the genesis of a burgeoning new SEC enforcement era, pursuing an emerging and dangerous risk to securities markets – unlawful outsider trading.”
“Empowered by the latest malware and online intrusion weaponry, cyber attackers engaging in outsider trading pose a serious threat to the integrity and security of the global financial marketplace – a threat which must be stopped dead in its tracks.
No longer are social security numbers, credit card information and the like the primary focuses of hackers. Information is the target – and public companies (and their vendors) have a lot of it. Indeed, crooks from anywhere in the world can now use their cyber-wares to orchestrate corporate espionage and remotely trade stock based on stolen secrets.”