Statement by an SEC Spokesperson to the Media Regarding X Account

Two days after the incident, in consultation with the SEC’s telecom carrier, the SEC determined that the unauthorized party obtained control of the SEC cell phone number associated with the account in an apparent “SIM swap” attack. SIM swapping is a technique used to transfer a person’s phone number to another device without authorization, allowing the unauthorized party to begin receiving voice and SMS communications associated with the number. Access to the phone number occurred via the telecom carrier, not via SEC systems. SEC staff have not identified any evidence that the unauthorized party gained access to SEC systems, data, devices, or other social media accounts.

Once in control of the phone number, the unauthorized party reset the password for the @SECGov account. Among other things, law enforcement is currently investigating how the unauthorized party got the carrier to change the SIM for the account and how the party knew which phone number was associated with the account.

While multi-factor authentication (MFA) had previously been enabled on the @SECGov X account, it was disabled by X Support, at the staff’s request, in July 2023 due to issues accessing the account. Once access was reestablished, MFA remained disabled until staff reenabled it after the account was compromised on January 9. MFA currently is enabled for all SEC social media accounts that offer it.

Source: Statement by an SEC Spokesperson to the Media Regarding X Account