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SEC Chairman Addresses SIM Swap Attack on Agency’s Twitter Account

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler has responded to a SIM swap attack that compromised the agency’s official Twitter account last week.

What Happened?

According to Gensler, an unauthorized party gained control of the SEC’s @SECGov Twitter handle through a SIM swap attack. This allowed them to post a fake tweet claiming that the SEC had approved a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Gensler provided a timeline of events, showing that within minutes of the fraudulent tweet being posted, Twitter suspended the SEC’s account. Law enforcement agencies are currently investigating the incident.

Criticism of the SEC

Several House Republicans, including Representatives Patrick McHenry, Bill Huizinga, French Hill, and Ann Wagner, criticized the SEC for not having two-factor authentication enabled on the compromised Twitter account.

In a response to the Republicans, Gensler acknowledged that the SEC should have had additional security measures in place and said the agency takes cybersecurity “very seriously.”

The Representatives described the SEC’s failure to secure their account with basic measures as “unacceptable.” Some also criticized Gensler over a previous incident during his tenure.

Ongoing Investigation

Gensler said the SEC has briefed House Republicans’ staff about the SIM swap attack and remains available to answer further questions. It is still unclear if the SEC will identify and track down the attacker responsible.

The SEC chairman stressed that the incident was not due to a breach of Twitter’s systems, but rather an unauthorized party gaining control over a phone number associated with the SEC account.

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