How the SEC almost shut down Wall Street

“Here’s a fun fact: Hackers, just like bankers, real estate agents and collectors of Star Trek memorabilia, attend conferences. Even better: they play games at the conferences,” Adam Levin reports for ABC News.

“One of the games they play has attendees aggressively competing to access any device in the hall, thereby demonstrating prowess in obtaining sensitive information. The goal is to exploit any vulnerability, or crack that which is perceived to be impenetrable, and share details for both educational purposes and bragging rights,” Levin reports. “This is the kind of thing you’d expect at a Black Hat hacker conference and why people with sensitive information on computers probably shouldn’t bring them to the party. Especially employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission Trading and Markets division. And they really shouldn’t have brought their computers with them. Except they did. Yes. This really happened.”

Levin reports, “Computers owned by the Securities and Exchange Commission Trading and Markets division were brought by SEC staffers to a hacker convention. They contained unencrypted, step-by-step instructions to shut down our financial trading system. Essentially: A Hacker’s Guide to our Financial Universe.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, for the love of…


  1. Is there any corroborating information to support this story ?

    It’s another Reuters story without any hard facts. Reuters and DigiTimes are both about as reliable as each other. I would be reluctant to believe this version of events unless there was some additional information coming from a non-Reuters source too.

  2. What “vulnerability”? I am sure that the SEC was using those ultra secure Windows PC’s to insure the safety of that information. That is how they will be securing the confidentiality of our medical records now!

    Oh Happy 2013 is almost here!

  3. One of the first of people to be brought to account are those members of Congress who, years ago, allowed our social security numbers to be used for commercial transactions. That was an exercise in stupidity without parallel, except for the outrageous refusal to repeal and rescind their mistake.

  4. It only takes one moron…

    Is this another Government Employee that is a member of the lucky sperm club that waltzed into a job due to family connections and a resume acquired due to family connection? There are plenty that fit that description.

    1. AP, do you really believe that nepotism is a driving factor behind “plenty” of government jobs? Or is that just your excuse for not being able to get one?

      As for the rest of you, listen to ConfusedCountry and alanaudio. They, at least, have learned to question the veracity of stories like this before stumbling directly into government bashing and ‘fire the sombitches’ rants.

      1. Too many senior GS and SES positions have more to do with connections than qualifications. Not saying that those hired are unqualified- just not the best applicants.

        I have supervised GS civilians back in my time in the armed forces. There are some very good and highly qualified people in the civil service, but there are also way too many that are so incompetent as to raise serious questions as to who is doing the hiring, evaluations and promotion selection.

        The regulatory agencies are all too full of people punching tickets before going to the other side of the fence.

        BTW- when I did apply for a GS position I turned it down as the money was insufficient and below the civilian market.

        1. Yes, but also remember that the people appointed to the Board of Directors of most corporations are all part of the “club”. Your buddies are on your board and vote you (the CEO) a raise, and you are on their board of directors and return the favor. It’s all a game.

          Do you believe no nepotism or cronyism exists in Corporate America?

          The fact is ALL humans (which includes you and me) will take advantage of any opportunity good or bad. The only way to make sure things don’t get too far out of whack would be to have 1/3 power (not population) be Capitalism/Private, 1/3 Power be Government, and 1/3 of the Power be in the hands of Unions.

          There will always be plenty of stupidity and waste to go around, (in fact I’ve had my own stupid moments), but with a balance like this no one group will ever get too far out of whack and we would most likely fight fewer wars.

          …and yes we’d still all be just as stupid as we ALL are today.

  5. “…They contained unencrypted, step-by-step instructions to shut down our financial trading system…”

    Seriously? Why would such a thing even exist? Why does everyone assume everything they read online is true? I find it really difficult to believe there are “step-by-step” instructions to shut down any system as complex and widespread as our financial trading system.

    Honestly, people, think about this stuff for at least a few seconds before snapping off some typical knee jerk reply denigrating all government employees as hapless idiots.

    Besides, when it comes right down to it, WE are the government. WE elect the representatives who make the laws and appoint the bureaucrats that fill the posts in places like the SEC. We get the government we deserve.

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