(The following passage is excerpted from an October 19, 2017, article on Dark Reading, written by Ballard Spahr attorneys David L. Axelrod and Terence M. Grugan)

Traditionally, insider traders followed the Gordon Gekko roadmap to acquiring illicit information—gaining material non-public corporate information from in-person physical sources, such as company executives or company lawyers and accountants, or even from the printer a company used to print deal documents. As the business world has changed, however, insider traders have updated their techniques and taken advantage of the concentration of digital information to obtain a bounty of non-public information that their analog counterparts in the 1980s could never have imagined.

Today, hackers—many of whom are either traders themselves or sell stolen information—are focusing their data-intrusion efforts on such corporate gatekeepers as law firms, newswire services, and other third parties that often possess confidential corporate information for numerous publicly traded companies. Predictably, this trend of "insider trading hacks" has continued, reaching its logical extension last month when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had been the victim of a significant breach and was investigating whether this intrusion "resulted in access to non-public information [that] may have provided the basis for illicit gain through trading."

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