cybercrime news

Bitcoin Prices Experience Surge Following SEC X Account Hack

A fraudulent post was swiftly removed within a span of less than 20 minutes, however, this did not impede its ability to amass over 1 million views during that brief timeframe.

Yesterday, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) account on X, formerly known as Twitter, was compromised by an unidentified perpetrator, prompting the SEC to initiate an investigation in collaboration with law enforcement agencies.

On January 9th, hackers successfully gained control of the account and disseminated a message on the agency's social media platform falsely asserting the approval of exchange traded funds (ETFs). Despite being deleted less than 20 minutes later, the post garnered over 1 million views.



X verified the occurrence of the hack, affirming that it was executed by an "unidentified individual" who managed to gain access to a phone number linked to the X account. This attack represents the most recent in a series of significant X account breaches.

"We can confirm that the account @SECGov was compromised and we have conducted a preliminary investigation. Based on our findings, the compromise was not a result of any breach within X's systems, but rather due to an unidentified individual gaining control over a phone number associated with the @SECGov account through a third party," stated the X Safety account. It was also noted that two-factor authentication was not activated at the time of the account compromise.

Following the dissemination of the false post on the social media platform, the price of Bitcoin experienced a surge of approximately 5%. This can be attributed to the anticipation of influential decisions regarding ETFs by the SEC on January 10th.

"While this incident appears to have been contained, it underscores the impact of compromised social media accounts, particularly when involving such a highly influential entity. It is evident that the unauthorized message was promptly flagged, thereby preventing widespread repercussions," remarked Darren James, a senior product manager at Specops Software, an Outpost24 company, in a statement delivered via email. "However, with the investment community eagerly awaiting the agency's announcement concerning Bitcoin, fraudulent information could have potentially facilitated transactions worth millions of dollars."