SEC Considers Additional Measures Following Hacked Post on Bitcoin ETF Approval

January 16, 2024 | by

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering implementing additional measures after a recent incident involving a hacked post on the approval of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The SEC confirmed that an unauthorized party had gained control of the phone number connected to its social-media account on X, a platform formerly known as Twitter. The misleading post falsely claimed that spot bitcoin ETFs had been approved, leading to a temporary spike in the price of bitcoin. The SEC is now assessing the impact of the breach and coordinating with law enforcement agencies to address this cybersecurity issue.

SEC Considers Additional Measures Following Hacked Post on Bitcoin ETF Approval

SEC Considers Additional Measures Following Hacked Post on Bitcoin ETF Approval


The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the regulatory body responsible for overseeing the securities industry in the United States. It plays a crucial role in protecting investors and maintaining fair and efficient markets. Bitcoin, the most well-known cryptocurrency, has gained significant popularity in recent years. It operates on a decentralized network and offers users a digital form of currency. One key development that the cryptocurrency community has been eagerly anticipating is the approval of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) by the SEC. This approval would provide a regulated way for investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin, potentially bringing in more traditional investors to the crypto market.

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SEC Statement on the Hacked Post

In a recent statement, the SEC acknowledged that a post on social media platform X falsely claiming that the agency had approved spot Bitcoin ETFs was created by an unauthorized party. This unauthorized party had gained control over the phone number connected to the SEC’s account on the platform, leading to the dissemination of the false information. The SEC is assessing whether additional remedial measures are necessary in response to this breach. It is crucial to address cybersecurity concerns both at the agency and the social media platform to prevent future incidents.

Coordination with Law Enforcement

The SEC is collaborating with law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security, to investigate the hack. Cooperation with these agencies is important to identify the perpetrators and hold them accountable for their actions. Additionally, the SEC has reached out to social media platform X for assistance in dealing with the incident. Effective collaboration with the platform will aid in improving security measures and preventing similar breaches in the future.

Assessment of Impacts

The incident has raised concerns among investors, as it has called into question the security of the SEC’s social media accounts. The agency is currently evaluating the impacts of the hack on investors and the marketplace. It is crucial to restore confidence in the SEC’s ability to protect investors and maintain market integrity. Taking steps to enhance security measures and communication protocols will be crucial in addressing these concerns and preventing future incidents.

Confusion and Deletion of Unauthorized Post

The false post that claimed approval of Bitcoin ETFs created confusion when it appeared on the SEC’s social media account on X. The post stated that Bitcoin ETFs had been approved for listing on registered national securities exchanges and highlighted ongoing surveillance and compliance measures for investor protection. A second post, simply stating “$BTC,” was quickly deleted by the unauthorized user. However, the user also liked two posts from non-SEC accounts. This series of events contributed to the initial surge in the price of Bitcoin before it later pulled back.

Unauthorized Access to SEC Account

The unauthorized party that gained control over the SEC’s social media account engaged in certain activities, including liking posts from non-SEC accounts. These actions were a clear indication of unauthorized access and raised concerns about the extent of the breach. However, the SEC has terminated the unauthorized access and found no evidence suggesting that the unauthorized party had access to SEC systems, data, devices, or other social media accounts.

Approval of Spot Bitcoin ETFs

Following the hack, the SEC officially announced the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs the day after the incident. This decision marks a significant milestone for the crypto industry, as it paves the way for traditional investors to enter the Bitcoin market through regulated investment vehicles. The approval is seen as a breakthrough and is expected to generate increased interest and investment in the digital asset.

Impact on Bitcoin Price

The false approval announcement had an immediate impact on the price of Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency experienced a surge in value following the dissemination of the unauthorized post. However, the price quickly pulled back as the SEC clarified the situation and confirmed that no approval had taken place. This rapid fluctuation in price highlights the sensitivity of the Bitcoin market to external factors and the potential for misinformation to cause significant volatility.

SEC’s Response to the Hack

In response to the hack, the SEC took immediate action to address the situation. The agency posted on SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s official X account, informing followers that the SEC’s main account had been compromised and that no approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs had been granted. The initial unauthorized post was deleted, and the SEC used its official account to make a new post clarifying the situation. These steps were taken to ensure accurate information was disseminated and to mitigate the confusion caused by the hack.

No Evidence of Access to SEC Systems

While the incident raised concerns about the extent of the breach, the SEC has stated that there is currently no evidence indicating that the unauthorized party gained access to SEC systems, data, devices, or other social media accounts. This is an important reassurance, as it suggests that the breach was limited to the unauthorized use of the SEC’s social media account. However, ongoing assessments and security measures will be crucial to ensure the prevention of future breaches and maintain the integrity of the SEC’s systems.

In conclusion, the recent hacking incident involving a false post on the SEC’s social media account has prompted the regulatory agency to consider additional measures to enhance its cybersecurity protocols. The coordination with law enforcement agencies and collaboration with the social media platform involved are important steps in addressing the breach and preventing future incidents. The impact on investors and the marketplace highlights the need for security enhancements and clear communication from the SEC. Despite the unauthorized access to the SEC’s account, there is no evidence indicating access to SEC systems, providing some reassurance regarding the agency’s overall security measures. Ultimately, the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs represents a significant development for the crypto industry, with potential implications for the Bitcoin market and increased interest from traditional investors.


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