X Safety team on fake Bitcoin ETF post


The X Safety team has revealed that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission did not have two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled on its main X account, allowing a hacker to gain access to its account. 

The embarassing revelation for the SEC follows a security breach that rocked crypto markets today with a false confirmation of a spot Bitcoin ETF from the SEC’s official account on the social media platform.

In a Jan. 10 post, X’s Safety page wrote that the SEC hack occurred as a result of an unidentified actor gaining control of the phone number associated with the account, and using that to gain access to SEC’s official X page. This is more commonly known as a SIM swap hack.

“Based on our investigation, the compromise was not due to any breach of X’s systems, but rather due to an unidentified individual obtaining control over a phone number associated with the @SECGov account through a third party,” wrote X Safety.

“We can also confirm that the account did not have two-factor authentication enabled at the time the account was compromised.”

A SIM swap hack is a form of identity theft where an attacker takes over a victim’s phone number, allowing them to gain access to social media, bank and crypto accounts. 

In this case, the hacker is likely to have convinced a third-party telecommunications provider to hand over control of the phone number tied to the SEC’s account. If the hacker also knew the correct email adress used to sign into the account, they could use the phone number to reset the password on the SEC’s official account and gain access. 

Blockchain sleuth ZachXBT took the opportunity to repackage SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s own previous advice on social media security in a humorous comment made in response to the original X Safety post. 

X’s owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the opportunity to push back on an earlier claim made on CNBC that the SEC hack was a result of X’s own internal systems being breached. 

“That’s how legacy media runs,” said Musk.

This is a developing story, and further information will be added as it becomes available.

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