(Bloomberg) – The vulnerability of governments andbusinesses to cyberattacks was exposed again Wednesday when a topU.S. financial regulator said hackers had breached its electronicdatabase of market-moving corporate announcements, and may haveprofited from the information they stole.

The hack of an aspect of the U.S. Securities and ExchangeCommission's Edgar filingsystem occurred last year, the regulator said in a statement.While the SEC has been aware of the breach since 2016, it wasn'tuntil last month that the agency concluded that the cybercriminalsinvolved may have used their bounty to make illicit trades. Theregulator disclosed the intrusion for the first time Wednesday.

Edgar houses millions of filings on corporate disclosuresranging from quarterly earnings to statements on mergers andacquisitions. Infiltrating the SEC's system to review announcementsbefore they are released publicly would serve as a virtual treasuretrove for a hacker seeking to make easy money.

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