Image: Ivan Babydov via Unsplash

SEC's X account compromised, used to spread false bitcoin announcement

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) X account was compromised on Tuesday, the latest high-profile account on the social media site to be taken over by fraudsters.

The SEC confirmed that its account was compromised after a tweet was sent out claiming the commission granted approval for bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to be listed on national securities exchanges.

“The @SECGov twitter account was compromised, and an unauthorized tweet was posted. The SEC has not approved the listing and trading of spot bitcoin exchange-traded products,” SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said.

The SEC account deleted the message within an hour and posted the same notice provided by Gensler.

The price of bitcoin spiked $48,000 after the post, which was seen by more than 1 million people before it was deleted.

The SEC did not respond to requests for comment about how someone managed to takeover the account. Cryptocurrency advocates have long fought for the SEC to grant approval for a spot bitcoin ETF but have faced stiff opposition from Gensler.

In recent months, concerns have grown over X’s ability to protect accounts from takeovers. Since being purchased by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the social media site has cut hundreds of security employees, exposing it to a wave of spam accounts.

The brief takeover of the SEC account is the latest in a series of high-profile incidents involving prominent Twitter accounts used to spread cryptocurrency scams. Last week, Google-owned cybersecurity firm Mandiant had its Twitter account taken over by someone sharing links to a cryptocurrency platform.

A Canadian senator had their Twitter account taken over to spread a scam, and over the weekend Zack Polanski, the deputy leader of the United Kingdom’s Green Party, had his account hijacked for the same purposes.

In December, two researchers discovered vulnerabilities in Twitter that were not addressed for weeks by the social media site’s team.

Get more insights with the
Recorded Future
Intelligence Cloud.
Learn more.
No previous article
No new articles

Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig

is a Breaking News Reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked across the globe as a journalist since 2014. Before moving back to New York City, he worked for news outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.