The hack of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) official account on X, formerly Twitter, on Tuesday (9 January) has sparked concerns about the security of Elon Musk’s social media platform.
The hackers posted a flurry of false news about an anticipated announcement from the SEC about bitcoin. Following the posts, which claimed the SEC had approved exchange-traded funds to hold bitcoin, the price of the cryptocurrency spiked.
According to X, the SEC was hacked by an unidentified bad actor gaining access to a phone number associated with the account.
The social media platform said that the SEC did not have two-factor security enabled at the time of the hack.
Accounts on X have been taken over by breaching the platform’s security in the past. In 2020, a teenager took control of several high-profile accounts, including those of Elon Musk and Joe Biden, by hacking into Twitter’s computer network.
In 2022, before Musk acquired the platform, Twitter’s former security chief Peiter Zatko publicly slammed the company alleging multiple security failings that could endanger national security.
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Following Musk’s purchasing of the platform, the CEO cut around 50% of X’s security budget.
Musk also pushed to cancel programmes that were designed to help fix security vulnerabilities, according to a lawsuit filed by former IT security chief Alan Rosa.
According to Rosa, he was fired from the company when he objected to keeping the measures in check.
Following Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter in 2022, the platform has lost an estimated 32 million users, according to GlobalData’s Thematic Research: Social Media 2023 report.
This decline follows Musk’s relaxation of content moderation standards, along with decisions to lay off approximately half of the company’s staff, introduce paid premium blue tick accounts and limit the number of posts users can view.