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Securities and Exchange Commission guidelines on when companies should disclose cyber-attacks have become de facto rules for at least six companies, including Google Inc. and Amazon (AMZN).com Inc., agency letters show.
The six companies were asked to break silence and tell investors in future filings that intruders had breached their computer systems, according to the SEC letters. Companies such as Amazon argued that the attacks weren’t important enough to reveal. Hacking admissions can hurt reputations, give competitors useful information and trigger investor litigation.