The Securities and Exchange Commission has confirmed that its X account “was compromised, and an unauthorized post was posted.” The SEC confirmed that it “has not approved the listing and trading of spot bitcoin exchange-traded products.” 

The SEC’s X account was compromised on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, and a fake post was published that in essence said the SEC had granted approval for Bitcoin ETFs, along with a fake quote from SEC Chairman Gary Gensler. After the post, there was a surge in bitcoin price, which dropped precipitously after the SEC denied that the approval had occurred and shared with the public that the post was false. It has been reported that the “the incident led to a $40 billion swing in the combined value of bitcoin in circulation.

Following the fake post, X posted that the incident occurred because the SEC X account holder failed to enable multi-factor authentication and the telephone number was hijacked in a SIM swap attack.

 X’s confirmation about the security of the account has security professionals renewing concerns about the security of X, and how X accounts can be hijacked through password stealing, credential stealing, and other campaigns used on social media sites. This incident illustrates how social media platforms can be used for disinformation with dramatic consequences. The incident has caused a stir with members of Congress, and several U.S. senators have formally requested that the SEC provide answers following the incident.

Photo of Linn Foster Freedman Linn Foster Freedman

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She is a member of the Business Litigation Group and the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team, and chair’s the firm’s Data Privacy and Security Team. Linn focuses her practice on…

Linn Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation. She is a member of the Business Litigation Group and the Financial Services Cyber-Compliance Team, and chair’s the firm’s Data Privacy and Security Team. Linn focuses her practice on compliance with all state and federal privacy and security laws and regulations. She counsels a range of public and private clients from industries such as construction, education, health care, insurance, manufacturing, real estate, utilities and critical infrastructure, marine and charitable organizations, on state and federal data privacy and security investigations, as well as emergency data breach response and mitigation. Linn is an Adjunct Professor of the Practice of Cybersecurity at Brown University and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Roger Williams University School of Law.  Prior to joining the firm, Linn served as assistant attorney general and deputy chief of the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Office for the State of Rhode Island. She earned her J.D. from Loyola University School of Law and her B.A., with honors, in American Studies from Newcomb College of Tulane University. She is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Read her full rc.com bio here.