The names and email addresses of several crypto miners associated with blockchain company Green have apparently been disclosed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC).
The Washington Examiner said on Jan. 17 the SEC accidentally included 650 names and email addresses in an email correspondence with Green as part of an inquiry, making the blockchain’s nodes open to hacking. According to reports, the financial regulator has been contacting customers of Green regarding their use of the company’s products.
Crypto community reacts to the SEC breach
According to those involved in the email, the disclosure has had a negative impact on the community of cryptocurrency enthusiasts. They assert that the information is more than sufficient to identify them and hack the “nodes,” or computers, they employ to generate Green crypto tokens through “mine” – the process of using powerful computers to confirm virtual coin transactions.
As of Tuesday, no hacks had been reported. Due to the fact that the blockchain enables users to trade and mine tokens anonymously, the Green community also placed a strong focus on protecting consumer privacy and stated that it considers the disclosure of personally identifying information to be harmful to that objective.
According to the SEC website, the publication of personal information about individuals that the federal government keeps in a system of records without their agreement is prohibited by the Privacy Act of 1974.
“We will protect your information in compliance with the Privacy Act if we maintain information about you in a system of records from which we retrieve that information by personal identifier.”
Hackers frequently target centralized cryptocurrency exchanges to steal user data, but allegedly accidental breaches by government employees are less frequent. The U.S. Justice Department announced charges against two Chinese intelligence agents in October for allegedly using Bitcoin to bribe a double agent.
In 2022, the SEC also carried out a number of crackdowns on cryptocurrency companies in what many detractors have dubbed the agency’s “regulation by enforcement” strategy. In December, the financial regulator added its name to the group of federal organizations that had charged former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried with violating securities laws’ anti-fraud provisions.