Should U.S. companies hacked by Chinese have told investors?

Three U.S. public companies identified as Chinese hacking victims by the Justice Department didn’t report the theft of trade secrets and other data to investors, despite rules designed to disclose significant events.

Two of the companies - Alcoa (AA) and Allegheny Technologies (ATI) - say the thefts weren’t material to their businesses and don’t have to be disclosed under SEC rules designed to give investors information that may affect share prices; U.S. Steel (X) has not commented.

Cybersecurity specialists are skeptical that companies will ever willingly disclose their breaches; "the prospect of Justice Department indictments that will never lead to prosecution, much less diminished attacks, is nothing close to an 'incentive' to disclose," says one lawyer.

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Comments (9)
  • King Rat
    , contributor
    Comments (1833) | Send Message
    Lack of legal obligation does not mean lack of ethical obligation.
    Besides, the more individuals and organizations that come forward publicly (with what is otherwise unspoken common knowledge) the more pressure there will be on those who can do something to do something.


    Is it any wonder that a country that has had an industrial bubble and now stockpiles various metals targeted these 3 industrial companies? This has nothing to do with damage to individual companies because that was not the aim. The aim was to gain information on US production secrets with a secondary aim of learning a more accurate assessment of US industrial outlook.


    Point is, China is worried and getting a little anxious. The situation is only going to get worse unless the US government steps in to protect its companies. Good luck of that happening.
    21 May 2014, 07:51 PM Reply Like
  • Shaduc
    , contributor
    Comments (3005) | Send Message
    "It is no longer capitalism when the government interferes.


    Anyway, it is just nationalism."


    SO WHAT is the American economy now that it is not a capitalist based economy ?
    21 May 2014, 08:23 PM Reply Like
  • Ruffdog
    , contributor
    Comments (3677) | Send Message
    Especially with this administration!
    22 May 2014, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • Joe Lunchbox
    , contributor
    Comments (711) | Send Message
    It's probably not important. By the year 2100, the US will be the largest Spanish-speaking Chinese colony.
    21 May 2014, 10:32 PM Reply Like
  • omooc
    , contributor
    Comments (345) | Send Message
    This is a curious post with an even more curious headline. How does a company know that it has been "hacked"? How does that company know that it was hacked by hackers from a specific country, given that a hacker can hide the originating location by various intermediate stations? And how does a company know what information has been hacked? Alcoa's answer (that whatever was hacked was immaterial) was understandable -- indeed, solid. If I understand the story correctly (not from this contributor, but from another source), all companies mentioned are from the Pittsburgh area. I have lived in Pittsburgh for a summer some years ago. While these two (Alcoa and US Steel), along with Gulf Oil and Pittsburgh Plate Glass, played a dominant role as the US's basic industrial core in early decades, other companies in other countries probably have caught up with their technology. So, repeating what Alcoa has said: What's the big deal?
    21 May 2014, 10:37 PM Reply Like
  • User 195396
    , contributor
    Comments (447) | Send Message
    Agree-what is the big deal-political theater as is customary in DC. The other question, after all of this noise and bad breath between the two countries, what does the US plan to do about it. Sanctions? That is laughable.
    21 May 2014, 11:43 PM Reply Like
  • st.andrew
    , contributor
    Comments (21) | Send Message
    Corporate America can ill afford pushing the Industrial spying issue,did they not "sold" American know -how to Commie China ?
    LOL,If China feels offended it might just refuse to allow our patriot corporations to manufacture in China and benefit from cheap chinese slave labor or have some big USA defence contractor company launce satellites on Chinese rockets.
    22 May 2014, 12:23 AM Reply Like
  • David PL
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
    China does not need to hack US companies to get trade secrets. US companies are lined up to give away secrets to Chinese companies to badly produce their products.
    23 May 2014, 12:10 AM Reply Like
  • User 195396
    , contributor
    Comments (447) | Send Message
    The question remains, now what is the US admin going to do? Quote from recent article:


    "The administration insists that China crossed a line by spying on American companies. It also insists it’s OK for the U.S. to keep spying on China."


    The total lack of logic of this admin has to make the US the laughing stk of the world.
    23 May 2014, 10:12 AM Reply Like
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