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FBI joins investigation into SEC X account compromise FBI joins investigation into SEC X account compromise

FBI joins investigation into SEC X account compromise

The SEC's X account falsely announced a spot Bitcoin ETF on Tuesday.

FBI joins investigation into SEC X account compromise

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate. Image includes combined content which may include AI-generated content.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has joined an investigation into a security breach involving the SEC’s X account, Reuters said on Jan. 10.

An SEC spokesperson told Reuters:

“The [U.S. Security and Exchange Commission] continues to investigate the matter and is coordinating with appropriate law enforcement entities, including the SECโ€™s Office of the Inspector General and the FBI.”

Critically, that statement does not indicate the FBI is investigating the SEC โ€” only that the FBI is working with the SEC on the investigation.

On Jan. 9, an unknown party accessed the SEC’s X profile and posted a false announcement in which the securities agency appeared to announce the approval of multiple spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). SEC chair Gary Gensler and, later, the SEC itself denied the announcement. The SEC removed the false post from its X profile soon after those corrections were posted.

Later, X commented on the breach and said that an unknown individual accessed the SEC’s account by obtaining control of a linked phone number. Other sources have described the breach method as a SIM swap in line with X’s description.

SEC says it did not draft message in advance

An SEC spokesperson additionally told Reuters on Wednesday that the false announcement was neither “drafted or created” by the agency. That comment disproves speculation that the agency legitimately created the message in advance of anticipated ETF approvals and and simply published the announcement early.

Despite the breach and redaction, the SEC ultimately approved various spot Bitcoin ETFs in a public statement on Jan. 10.

A separate SEC filing additionally indicates that spot Bitcoin ETFs from eleven applicants have received approval. The agency was specifically required to decide on Ark Invest’s application today, Jan. 10, but simultaneously approved similar proposals.

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