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All About Edgar and Why Its Hack Shakes the SEC: QuickTake Q&A

Bloomberg business news

SEC Warns of Illegal Trade Profits From Edgar Hack

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says its mission is to protect investors. But the regulator learned last year that it had failed to keep closely guarded corporate secrets safe from hackers -- and only just told the public about it after learning cyber-criminals may have placed profitable trades using the stolen information. The hack to the SEC’s Edgar document-filing system was disclosed late in the evening and buried far down in a statement vaguely titled “Statement on Cybersecurity.” How vulnerable is the SEC to hackers, and did the agency live up to its own disclosure standards?

Created in the 1990s, the SEC’s Edgar (for Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval) system stores key corporate filings including quarterly reports, shareholder records and sometimes even the initial announcements of takeover attempts. When new documents are released, they can sway stock prices. The website is free. The SEC says it gets more than 1.7 million filings each year, and more than 50 million pages of documents are accessed every day.