Strengthening Cybersecurity Measures: SEC Chairman Gensler Addresses Recent Account Breach

Evaluating the Cybersecurity Incident’s Impact on Crypto Agencies, Investors, and Marketplaces

In response to the recent breach of the SEC’s @SECGov X account, Chairman Gary Gensler assures the public that there is currently no indication of unauthorized access to SEC systems, data, devices, or other social media accounts.

SEC’s Swift Response

Chairman Gensler emphasizes the seriousness with which the SEC is treating this cybersecurity incident. The regulatory body is actively assessing the repercussions of the security breach on crypto agencies, investors, and marketplaces.

No Compromise on Social Media Security

Acknowledging the concerns surrounding the security of the SEC’s social media accounts, Gensler notes that the SEC is vigilant. The dedicated staff continues to evaluate whether additional remedial measures are necessary to fortify security.

Collaborative Investigations

The SEC is working in collaboration with law enforcement and security agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, to conduct thorough investigations.

Incident Details

According to Gensler’s statement in the SEC report, on January 9, 2024, an unauthorized party gained control of the SEC’s official X account over the phone at 4:11 pm ET. The infiltrator posted an announcement claiming the SEC’s approval of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Subsequently, another post about “$BTC” was made two minutes later, which was later deleted. The initial post regarding the ETF approval remained on X.

Swift Action and Cooperation

Following the incident, the SEC staff promptly contacted X for assistance in terminating the unauthorized access. X’s safety officials confirmed that the unauthorized access was successfully terminated between 4:40 pm ET and 5:30 pm ET.

Clarification on Social Media Usage

Chairman Gensler underscores that the SEC does not utilize X or any other social media platform to announce developments. This reaffirms the SEC’s commitment to transparent and secure communication channels.

Congressional Inquiry

In response to the breach, members of the United States Congress, including Senators Ron Wyden and Cynthia Lummis, have called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate the hack. They urge SEC Inspector General Deborah Jeffrey to initiate a probe into the commission’s cybersecurity practices, particularly concerning the fake announcement of a spot Bitcoin ETF approval on X.

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