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SEC Social Media Hack Was an Attempt to Manipulate Crypto Markets, Hawke Says

January 12, 2024

Securities Enforcement Litigation partner Daniel Hawke was recently quoted in The New York Times article, “S.E.C. Social Media Hack That Sent Bitcoin Soaring Prompts Investigation.” The article discusses the recent hack of a social media account used by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has prompted internal and external investigations by the SEC’s Office of the Inspector General, the FBI, and appropriate law enforcement entities.

The hacker accessed the SEC’s official account on X and posted that the commission had approved several Bitcoin investment products that investors have eagerly awaited. The false post caused a rapid surge in Bitcoin’s price, which prompted legal experts to suspect that the hack was part of an attempt to profit from the cryptocurrency’s price spike. Echoing these sentiments, Hawke, former chief of the SEC's Market Abuse Unit and Director of the SEC's Philadelphia Regional office, told The New York Times that the false post had all the hallmarks of an attempt to “manipulate the crypto markets.”

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