The Securities and Exchange Commission has confirmed that its X account “was compromised, and an unauthorized post was posted.” The SEC confirmed that it “has not approved the listing and trading of spot bitcoin exchange-traded products.”
The SEC’s X account was compromised on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, and a fake post was published that in essence said the SEC had granted approval for Bitcoin ETFs, along with a fake quote from SEC Chairman Gary Gensler. After the post, there was a surge in bitcoin price, which dropped precipitously after the SEC denied that the approval had occurred and shared with the public that the post was false. It has been reported that the “the incident led to a $40 billion swing in the combined value of bitcoin in circulation.
Following the fake post, X posted that the incident occurred because the SEC X account holder failed to enable multi-factor authentication and the telephone number was hijacked in a SIM swap attack.
X’s confirmation about the security of the account has security professionals renewing concerns about the security of X, and how X accounts can be hijacked through password stealing, credential stealing, and other campaigns used on social media sites. This incident illustrates how social media platforms can be used for disinformation with dramatic consequences. The incident has caused a stir with members of Congress, and several U.S. senators have formally requested that the SEC provide answers following the incident.