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SEC Says Public Firms May Need To Disclose Cyberattacks 21

Trailrunner7 writes "The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued new guidance to help public companies determine when they may need to disclose an attack — or even a potential attack — in order to make potential investors aware of possible risks to the company's business. The guidance, which does not constitute a rule or requirement for companies to disclose, is meant to help registrants in 'assessing what, if any, disclosures should be provided about cybersecurity matters.'"
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SEC Says Public Firms May Need To Disclose Cyberattacks

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  • by John.P.Jones ( 601028 ) on Friday October 14, 2011 @04:40PM (#37718078)

    If banks can write off fraud as an undisclosed loss without disclosing the truth I don't see why Sony can't do the same.

  • Becuase the government totally discloses every time the country is "potentially attacked"
    • Re:Sure (Score:5, Informative)

      by chill ( 34294 ) on Friday October 14, 2011 @04:51PM (#37718214) Journal

      Potentially attacked means an incident occurred, but you aren't sure if it is a specific, targeted attack or just an incident of random infection.

      And yes, they do disclose this on their annual FISMA filings. You will also see the information in the annual Inspector General reports filed with Congress on every agency.

      • Re:Sure (Score:4, Informative)

        by citylivin ( 1250770 ) on Friday October 14, 2011 @06:23PM (#37719302)

        "Potentially attacked means an incident occurred, but you aren't sure if it is a specific, targeted attack or just an incident of random infection."

        I guess you have never looked through your logs, or run an IDS system in your place of work or home. Attacks are literally happening all the time. The amount of people guessing passwords on an ftp, or simply throwing php exploits at your webserver can be tens or hundreds of IP addresses a day.

        This is a joke, or else they don't understand the meaning of "potential" attack.

        I am all for disclosing when a company or organization gets legitimately hacked. But potential attacks? that would be literally thousands of lines of log files daily, even on a home connection.

        • by chill ( 34294 )

          The SEC guidance never says â potential attackâ. It talks about making sure companies include potential cyber security incidents as part of their risk assessment.

          The rest refers to successful incidents and attacks that result in material financial cost or loss. This was written by the finance guys. They aren't interested in your firewall logs. They wasn't to make sure a company takes this stuff into account when reporting material risk.

          Read the actual document.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The rules as I read them are so vague that companies are just going to report everything, the signal-to-noise ratio will be über-low, and business will continue as usual.

  • This seems like something hackers would want try to do. They had better be careful on how they would move forward implementing this.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    THREATENED cyber incidents?! You have to be f--king joking. We stop hundreds or maybe thousands of these every day. Malicious emails? Yup. Infected web pages? Yup. Firewall probes? Wup. Everybody is constantly at war with this stuff all the time.
  • by DCFusor ( 1763438 ) on Friday October 14, 2011 @04:56PM (#37718258) Homepage
    None at all.
  • Sony only disclosed because PSN went down and people noticed. We don't know if they really disclosed everything or not. It's a little more complicated though, I think that with this being labeled as guidance is a step towards harder regulations on corporate security and consumer standards for privacy when submitting data to a corporation. As it stands it's unregulated and people have taken advantage of it.

  • Argh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "In order to make potential investors aware of possible risks to the company's business"

    Right, they won't do this for CUSTOMERS, but they have a change of opinion when it comes to INVESTORS.

  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Friday October 14, 2011 @05:27PM (#37718584) Journal

    http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/09/09/1843228/New-Legislation-Would-Punish-Mishandling-of-Private-Data [slashdot.org]

    I looked at the actual text of the legislation [slashdot.org] and it essentially said that if there's no risk that "sensitive personally identifiable information" was lost, then companies did not have to report the breach.

    I'm glad the SEC's rules are much more expansive than the crap ideas our legislators came up with.
    I expect to see a lot more disclosures of hacking in the future.

  • Dear SEC, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Medievalist ( 16032 ) on Friday October 14, 2011 @05:42PM (#37718744)

    Dear SEC,

    We connected our enterprise to the Internet in October 1992. Starting roughly two weeks from that time, we have been under continuous attack from various robots, disgruntled former employees, botnets, viruses, worms, and possibly space aliens. Honestly, we really don't even try to check on the origin of these attacks, we just tarpit them all.

    Should you require more detail, we can arrange a real-time feed from our firewall systems, which are currently being attacked roughly every four seconds, just like every other network of our size in the entire world.

    Please feel free to attempt to determine the source and purpose of these attacks, since clearly you are no longer interested in monitoring the world's business economy and thus helping ensuring a free and fair marketplace.

    --Any Large Internet-connected Business

  • i think requiring them to report breaches with details of just what was compromised would be a lot better than a shitload of logs of port scanners.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel