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Gensler assures Congress of SEC’s dedication to cybersecurity following breach

TL;DR

  • SEC Chair Gary Gensler reassures Congress of the agency’s commitment to cybersecurity following a false social media post about spot bitcoin ETFs on the SEC’s X account.
  • After the incident, the SEC implemented multi-factor authentication across its social media accounts and is investigating the SIM swap attack that allowed unauthorized access.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been in the spotlight following the cybersecurity breach that led to the spread of false information regarding the approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). SEC Chair Gary Gensler addressed the incident in a letter to House Republicans, emphasizing the commission’s commitment to cybersecurity obligations.

Addressing the false social media post

The incident, which unfolded in early January, involved a false post disseminated through the SEC’s social media account on X (formerly Twitter), falsely claiming the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs. This misinformation quickly spread among the SEC’s hundreds of thousands of followers. Gensler responded promptly, clarifying from his personal account that the SEC’s X account had been compromised, an assertion later confirmed by the platform itself. The breach was attributed to unauthorized control over a phone number associated with the SEC’s account, highlighting vulnerabilities in the commission’s cybersecurity measures.

In response to the incident, the SEC stated that it has taken steps to bolster its digital security, including activating multi-factor authentication across all its social media accounts capable of supporting this feature. 

Gensler’s letter to the House Financial Services Committee, among others, outlined these measures and reassured that the SEC is treating the matter with utmost seriousness. The letter directly responded to demands from four Republican representatives for a briefing on the cybersecurity lapse, underlining the political and regulatory scrutiny following the breach.

Ongoing investigations and security enhancements

The SEC is currently cooperating with law enforcement to investigate the breach, focusing on how the unauthorized party executed a SIM swap to gain control of the phone number linked to the SEC’s social media account. This technique involves transferring a victim’s phone number to another device without consent, a method that raises concerns about telecommunications security and personal data protection. According to Gensler, no evidence suggests that the unauthorized party accessed SEC systems, data, devices, or other social media accounts beyond the compromised X account.

In the aftermath of the breach, the SEC has reviewed and strengthened its cybersecurity protocols to prevent future incidents. The adoption of multi-factor authentication for its social media accounts is a significant step towards securing its digital presence against unauthorized access. 

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Damilola Lawrence

Damilola is a crypto enthusiast, content writer, and journalist. When he is not writing, he spends most of his time reading and keeping tabs on exciting projects in the blockchain space. He also studies the ramifications of Web3 and blockchain development to have a stake in the future economy.

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