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Russian Hack Cost Canadian Pension Plan $100 Million

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January 19, 2021

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), has a well-earned reputation as a shrewd investor in, among other things, tech start-ups. In December it convinced stakeholders to sell a five percent share of SolarWinds, the Texas-based business software maker that was compromised by a Russian espionage attack shortly after the deal was made. According to the company and its two biggest shareholders, Silver Lake and Thoma Bravo, they first learned of the security breach after the agreement was reached, but some investors traded $280 million in stock days before the hack was revealed. Those transactions are certain to be scrutinized by U.S. securities regulators, who will try to determine whether information about the hack was withheld before their stakes were sold. Other issues are whether Silver Lake and Thoma Bravo broke the terms of their contract by failing to disclose any known risks of a cybersecurity breach, and claims by a former SolarWinds adviser who resigned from his role at the company in 2017 because it refused to address its vulnerabilities to cyberattacks.

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