A 17-year-old in Florida has been arrested in connection with a major Twitter hack that compromised the accounts of dozens of high-profile accounts.
State prosecutors filed 30 fraud, identity theft, and hacking charges against the individual, calling him the “mastermind” of a “massive fraud.”
Twitter’s internal controls were improperly accessed in mid July in a hack that tricked people into giving away at least than $120,000 in cryptocurrency.
The Department of Justice also charged two individuals Friday in connection with the hack.
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A 17-year-old Tampa, Florida resident was arrested Friday in connection with the massive Twitter hack earlier this month in which the accounts of dozens of high-profile users, including US Presidential candidate Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama, were hijacked as part of a cryptocurrency scam.
Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren filed 30 charges against the individual, 17-year-old Graham Clark, calling him the “mastermind” behind the hack.
Shortly after, the US Department of Justice arrested two additional individual in connection with the hack.
“These crimes were perpetrated using the names of famous people and celebrities, but they’re not the primary victims here. This ‘Bit-Con’ was designed to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country, including here in Florida. This massive fraud was orchestrated right here in our backyard, and we will not stand for that,” Warren said in a press release.
In a press conference Friday, Warren said Clark is not facing federal charges at this point and that the state is handling prosecution because Florida law allows more flexibility when prosecuting minors. The arrest was first reported by WFLA.
The charges include one count of organized fraud over $50,000, 17 counts of communications fraud over $300, one count of fraudulent use of personal information over $100,000 or 30 or more victims, 10 counts of fraudulent use of personal information, and one count of accessing a computer or electronic device without authority.
The Twitter hack occured earlier this month when Twitter’s internal controls were used to compromise the accounts of prominent individuals and companies after Twitter employees were tricked into giving a hacker, or hackers, access to the the tools.
The compromised accounts then tweeted that they were feeling “generous” and would match Bitcoin donations, leading people to transfer at least $120,000 to the scam cryptocurrency wallets referenced in the tweets.
Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Michael Bloomberg, Floyd Mayweather, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West, Apple, Uber, Bitcoin, and four cryptocurrency exchanges (KuCoin, Coinbase, Gemini, and Binance, were named by Warren as victims of the hack.
Warren said in a press conference that Clark was “not an ordinary 17-year-old” and called the hack a “highly sophisticated attack on a magnitude not seen before.”
He also warned that the hack “could have destabilized financial markets” or “undermined American politics”
Warren said the investigation and arrest were aided by both the FBI and the IRS, and that Twitter had been “active” in cooperating.
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Source:: Business Insider – Tech