Following on from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) X (formerly Twitter) hack, US lawmakers are pushing for the SEC to review its cybersecurity practices after it was discovered there was no multi-factor authentication active at the time of the hack.
The hack resulted in a single tweet being released from the compromised account, stating that the SEC had approved exchange traded funds (ETF) for Bitcoin.
The tweet resulted in a jump in the price of Bitcoin up to $48,000 before dropping by 6% the tweet was confirmed as fake.
“Failure to follow cybersecurity best practices”
US lawmakers are now demanding an investigation into the incident, stating this breach could be a sign of other security weaknesses within the SEC that could lead to far more damaging breaches.
The bipartisan letter, written by Democratic senator Ron Wyden and Republican senator Cynthia Lummis, requests the review as a result of the SEC’s failure to implement two-factor authentication on the account at the time of the hack. The account was compromised due to an individual acquiring a phone number related to the account, and as a result was able to log in to the agency’s account.
The letter urged the SEC, “to investigate the agency's practices related to the use of MFA, and in particular, phishing-resistant MFA, to identify any remaining security gaps that must be addressed.”
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) has become a standard of online account security, with MFA providing an additional layer of security through the requirement of a one-time passcode, digital token, or biometric authentication in order to access an account.
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Benedict Collins is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro covering privacy and security. Before settling into journalism he worked as a Livestream Production Manager, covering games in the National Ice Hockey League for 5 years and contributing heavily to the advancement of livestreaming within the league. Benedict is mainly focused on security issues such as phishing, malware, and cyber criminal activity, but he also likes to draw on his knowledge of geopolitics and international relations to understand the motives and consequences of state-sponsored cyber attacks.
He has a MA in Security, Intelligence and Diplomacy, alongside a BA in Politics with Journalism, both from the University of Buckingham. His masters dissertation, titled 'Arms sales as a foreign policy tool,' argues that the export of weapon systems has been an integral part of the diplomatic toolkit used by the US, Russia and China since 1945. Benedict has also written about NATO's role in the era of hybrid warfare, the influence of interest groups on US foreign policy, and how reputational insecurity can contribute to the misuse of intelligence.
Outside of work Ben follows many sports; most notably ice hockey and rugby. When not running or climbing, Ben can most often be found deep in the shrubbery of a pub garden.