bsdbigot asks: "I started getting a bunch of stock-tout spam in the last month or so. The other day, I happened to look and see it was coming in to an email address I had dedicated to my online trading account account. I've spoken to the online trading company, and I've given them the info on these spams. It turns out there is an 'ongoing investigation,' which includes 'outside agencies,' but they stop short of saying that there is any theft or breach. How soon should such a company let its customers know that their data has been compromised? Should they wait until they have all the details and have plugged the breach, or should they let customers know that there is a possible problem as soon as they recognize it?"
"Personally, I believe a security breach has occurred. So, I asked them how many people are affected by this; they feel certain that it's an isolated problem, because they haven't received a deluge of complaints. They don't know how these spammers got my reserved email address from my online broker (but they didn't sell it, they are quite clear on that), so how can they be so certain it's not their entire database, and how can they be so sure that things like my SSN and bank routing information wasn't also stolen?"