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SEC Introduces Initiatives for Cyber Threats and Retail Investors

Building on its Enforcement Division’s efforts to counter cyber-based threats and safeguard retail investors, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced on September 25 the creation of the following two initiatives:

  • Cyber Unit: Using the Enforcement Division’s cyber expertise, the new Cyber Unit will target misconduct concerning market manipulation schemes featuring false information distributed electronically and through social media; hacking to acquire private information; and violations related to distributed ledger technology and initial coin offerings.
  • Retail Strategy Task Force: With the Enforcement Division experiencing long-term success at bringing cases such as the sale of unsuitable structured products and microcap pump-and-dump schemes, the Retail Strategy Task Force will create proactive, focused initiatives to pinpoint misconduct affecting retail investors. The task force will leverage the experience from previous cases, data analytics, and technology to uncover large-scale misconduct impacting retail investors. Enforcement personnel across the U.S. will be part of the task force and will work with various SEC staff, including members from the National Exam Program and the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy.

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