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Cyberattacks Abound Yet Companies Tell SEC Losses Are Few
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 2013 00:40:51 -0500 (CDT)


By Chris Strohm, Eric Engleman & Dave Michaels
Apr 3, 2013

The 27 largest U.S. companies reporting cyber attacks say they sustained no major financial losses, exposing a disconnect with federal officials who say billions of dollars in corporate secrets are being stolen.

MetLife Inc., Coca-Cola Co. (KO), and Honeywell International Inc. were among the 100 largest U.S. companies by revenue to disclose online attacks in recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Citigroup Inc. (C) reported “limited losses” while the others said there was no material impact.

Those mixed messages have triggered a debate over whether Washington is overstating the damage from cyber attacks or whether companies are understating its impact -- or not disclosing the attacks at all. It also raises questions about whether some companies are painting more alarming scenarios for politicians than for their investors.

“There is a clear discrepancy between what companies are reporting to their stockholders and what they’re declaring to policy makers,” said Sascha Meinrath, vice president of the New America Foundation, a Washington-based policy group. The confusion harms the ability of legislators and agency officials to understand cybersecurity, Meinrath said.


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