ETF approval's fake post from SEC social media account startles industry

SEC vows to conduct an investigation into hack besides law enforcement agencies
A representational image of a Bitcoin placed on a laptop. — Unsplash
 A representational image of a Bitcoin placed on a laptop. — Unsplash

A post from the US securities regulator SEC’s social media account on X (formerly Twitter), after being hacked, rumoured the approval of Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETF) on Tuesday.

Although the "unauthorised access has been terminated," the SEC said that its X social media account was taken control of by an anonymous third party after about 4 pm Eastern time (2100 GMT).

Following the illicit access of the regulator’s account on X, the Elon Musk-led platform confirmed that the SEC's account was hacked by an "unidentified individual", who procured control over a phone number linked to the agency's account through a third party.

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While quoting an inside investigation report, the platform attributed the breach to the inactivation of two-factor authentication at the time the account was compromised, saying the hack didn’t occur due to any breach into X’s systems.

The US regulator vowed to conduct an investigation into the hack besides law enforcement agencies.

A very short while after the post forged the BTC ETF approval on X, the price of Bitcoin shot up sharply. The post was accompanied by a picture purporting to quote SEC Chair Gary Gensler.

The rumour surfaced days ahead of the imminent approval of ETFs by the SEC, likely on Wednesday, startling the crypto industry, with insiders digging out as to why would the regulator announce such a thing first on social media.

Minutes after the post was shared, the post on the SEC's X account had received at least 1 million views at 4:11 pm ET. However, fewer than 20 minutes later, the post was no longer visible and might have been deleted.