Securities and Exchange Commission Faces Cybersecurity Challenge

Securities and Exchange Commission Faces Cybersecurity Challenge

Securities and Exchange Commission Faces Cybersecurity Challenge

Securities and Exchange Commission quickly addressed the issue, collaborated on investigation, and reaffirmed cybersecurity commitment.

The following statement was issued by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in response to the hacking incident that compromised its X account. The breach led to the dissemination of a fraudulent announcement claiming that the regulator had authorized an exchange-traded fund for spot bitcoin. The statement reads as follows:

On Tuesday, January 9, 2024, at approximately 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET), an unauthorized individual obtained the phone number associated with the commission’s account to acquire access to the account. This transpired in the immediate aftermath of account creation.

The staff has arrived at this conclusion in light of the information that is presently available. Approximately two minutes later, the unauthorized individual composed a second message with the simple letters “$BTC.” The initial post, which was scheduled to be published at 4:10 p.m. Eastern Time (ET), purportedly announced that the Commission had granted authorization for exchange-traded funds to trade in spot bitcoin.

The second post was subsequently removed from the website by the unauthorized user; however, the initial post remained online. The unauthorized user also liked two posts authored by non-SEC-affiliated accounts via the commission’s account.

At this time, there is an absence of evidence indicating that the unauthorized party achieved success in infiltrating any of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s systems, data, devices, or other social media accounts. Despite the ongoing assessment by the commission’s staff regarding the magnitude of the incident, this remains the situation.

Securities and Exchange Commission Statement on Unauthorized Access

The Office of Public Affairs personnel issued a statement on the official @garygensler account at 4:26 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) to apprise the public that the commission’s account had been compromised, an unauthorized post had been published, and the Commission had not authorized the listing and trading of spot bitcoin exchange-traded products.

This action was taken to raise public awareness. Upon the Office of Public Affairs personnel becoming aware of the occurrence, a subsequent course of action was implemented to rectify the situation. The following post was published on the @SECGov account at 4:42 p.m.

Eastern Time, next to the staff’s removal of the initial illicit post, dislike of the two liked posts, and the announcement that the account had been compromised. Following the administration’s notification that the account had been compromised, this action was taken.

To secure assistance in terminating the illicit access to the commission’s account, the staff took further measures to communicate with Based on the information gathered, it has been determined that the unauthorized account access was terminated between 4:40 and 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

This decision was arrived at after a comprehensive evaluation of the information at hand by the staff.

Regarding cybersecurity, the Securities and Exchange Commission takes its responsibilities extremely seriously. As per the commission’s staff, which is presently investigating the repercussions of this incident on the organization, investors, and the market, apprehensions have been raised concerning the security of the Commission’s social media accounts.

Furthermore, the group will proceed with the assessment to determine whether additional corrective measures are necessary.

The personnel collaborate with the relevant federal oversight bodies and law enforcement agencies, such as the Office of Inspector General of the commission, the Agency for Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security of the Department of Homeland Security, and others, to coordinate their investigations.

These organizations are implementing the requisite measures to guarantee the efficient execution of the inquiry. When it becomes apparent that it is crucial to do so, the organization will provide updates about the incident. An exceptionally salient feature of the Commission’s functioning is providing public access to its actions through its website, located at

Furthermore, while social media posts enhance the visibility of announcements made on our website, the Commission does not employ these platforms to disclose information regarding its operations.

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