cyber-security 28 September 2017

SEC Cyber Unit to fight hacking, dark web misconduct and other online ills

America’s Securities and Exchange Commission (‘SEC’) announced, on 25 September, a new initiative to address cyber-based threats.

It says that its new ‘Cyber Unit’ will ‘focus the Enforcement Division’s substantial cyber-related expertise on targeting cyber-related misconduct, such as:

  • Market manipulation schemes involving false information spread through electronic and social media
  • Hacking to obtain material non-public information
  • Violations involving distributed ledger technology and initial coin offerings
  • Misconduct perpetrated using the dark web
  • Intrusions into retail brokerage accounts
  • Cyber-related threats to trading platforms and other critical market infrastructure.’

The SEC says the unit has been in planning stages ‘for months’, and complements other initiatives to ‘implement an internal cybersecurity risk profile and create a cybersecurity working group to coordinate information sharing, risk monitoring, and incident response efforts throughout the agency.’

Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said: ‘The Cyber Unit will enhance our ability to detect and investigate cyber threats through increasing expertise in an area of critical national importance.’


WorldECR’s sister publication, Trade Security Journal, reports on cyber-related regulatory developments. For more information, visit