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Disclosure Questions Arise After a Cyber-Attack

Jaclyn Jaeger | November 13, 2012

When hit with a cyber-attack, many companies are choosing to remain as shadowy as the clandestine hackers that strike them.

More than a year has passed since the Securities and Exchange Commission issued guidance suggesting that publicly traded companies should disclose cyber-security risks and attacks that result in material losses. Yet, many companies remain tight-lipped, even as word leaks out about significant cyber-attacks.

Coca-Cola was informed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2009 that it was targeted by Chinese hackers, for example, but the breach did not come to light until this month, when Bloomberg news reported that hackers broke into Coca-Cola's computer systems and spent weeks accessing sensitive files about its attempted $2.4 billion acquisition of fruit and vegetable juice company China Huiyuan Juice Group.

While the precise number of unreported cyber-attacks is, of course, impossible to quantify, security analysts say far more...

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