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SEC chairman refused to answer questions about 2016 hack

Securities and Exchange Commission boss Jay Clayton was feeling the heat on Thursday after he refused to publicly answer questions about a 2016 hack of a key regulatory database.

“I don’t view this as a victimless crime. This is serious,” Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees the SEC, told The Post.

Late Wednesday, the SEC disclosed that the test filing portion of its online database, known as Edgar, was hacked sometime in 2016 — and that the cyber-crooks could have stolen nonpublic data and traded on the information, possibly pocketing illegal profits.

On Thursday, Clayton refused to comment further.

Huizenga said that “Joe and Jane IRA and 401k” would feel the brunt of the hack.

The test filing center is where publicly traded companies store documents such as earnings reports and management changes moments before they are made public on Edgar.

Getting such information before the public could provide an unfair advantage to the hackers.

“That’s the most sensitive information that has yet to be made public,” Bradley Bondi, former counsel at the SEC and now a partner at Cahill Gordon and Reindel, told The Post.

The irony of a government agency whose mission includes promoting “a market environment that is worthy of the public’s trust” getting hacked was also noted.

“There’s no panacea against hacking,” Bondi said.

“Every organization, whether a public company or a government agency such as the SEC, lives in glass houses when it comes to hackers. No organization can guarantee security or expect it,” he added.

But Washington wants to be sure the SEC is doing all it can to prevent future hacks.

“Are they regulating themselves to the same standard as those that they regulate?” Huizenga asked.

Huizenga said he received a “courtesy call” from Clayton moments before the SEC announced the hack.

“First and foremost, I’m glad they released the information good, bad or otherwise,” he said.

“We gotta fix this. This has got to be a priority,” he added.

Source: http://nypost.com/2017/09/21/sec-chairman-refused-to-answer-questions-about-2016-hack/

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