SEC Chair Gary Gensler Recaps Takeover of Agency’s Twitter Account

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SEC Chair Gary Gensler Recaps Takeover of Agency's Twitter Account
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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler gave an update on the investigation into the cyberattack targeting the agency’s Twitter account in a statement posted Friday.

The report comes three days after the official SEC Twitter account posted a message that all of the Bitcoin ETFs the agency was reviewing had been approved. The false tweet came at a time when the cryptocurrency world waited with bated breath to see whether and when the ETFs would move forward.

Soon after the fake news was posted, a tweet on Gensler’s separate account said that the SEC’s account had been “compromised.”

“The unauthorized party made one post at 4:11 pm ET purporting to announce the Commission’s approval of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds, as well as a second post approximately two minutes later that said “$BTC,” Gensler wrote. “The unauthorized party subsequently deleted the second post, but not the first.

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“Using the @SECGov account, the unauthorized party also liked two posts by non-SEC accounts.” the update read.

Gensler said the SEC is still assessing the scope of the incident, but noted that there is no evidence the unauthorized party gained access to any other SEC systems, data, other social media accounts.

SEC staff deleted the first unauthorized post and un-liked the two liked posts, and posted a new tweet about the compromise thirty minutes after the event took place.

By 5:30 pm ET, Gensler said, the hackers had been kicked from the account and their unauthorized access terminated.

On Wednesday, Twitter confirmed the incident but emphasized the hack was not due to a breach of the social media site.

“An unidentified individual obtaining control over a phone number associated with the @SECGov account through a third party,” Twitter’s Safety department said.

“The SEC takes its cybersecurity obligations seriously,” Gensler continued. “Commission staff are still assessing the impacts of this incident on the agency, investors, and the marketplace but recognize that those impacts include concerns about the security of the SEC’s social media accounts.”

“The staff also will continue to assess whether additional remedial measures are warranted,” the statement continued.

Gensler concluded by saying that the SEC is working with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, the SEC’s Office of Inspector General, and the Department of Homeland Security to find the culprits behind the fake tweet. Gensler reiterated that the SEC does not make announcements about actions on social media.

“Importantly, the Commission makes its actions public on the Commission’s website,” he said. “The Commission does not use social media channels to make its actions public; social media posts only amplify announcements that are made on our website.”

Digital artist Billy Restey inscribed Gensler’s “compromised” tweet in an Ordinals Inscription to commemorate the moment in Bitcoin history.

“Just so we don’t forget, this tweet has been immortalized on Bitcoin forever,” Restey tweeted.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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