A 22-year-old British citizen was suspected of being in Spain Twitter hack in July 2020 The U.S. Department of Justice said on Wednesday that this compromised the accounts of well-known politicians and celebrities.
It named the British man Joseph James O’Connor and said he faces multiple charges. He was also charged in a criminal lawsuit involving computer hacking related to the takeover of TikTok and Snapchat accounts, including an incident involving sexual extortion and online stalking of a 16-year-old teenager.
Another second person who was identified as “Junior 1” in the criminal proceedings was also accused of being involved in the hacking in Northern California on July 30, 2020 because he was in “Junior 1”. Twitter Use the nickname Kirk#5270 to attack.
The hacker was later identified as 18-year-old Graham Ivan Clark.Federal charges were dismissed in March He pleaded guilty to the state charge in Florida And agreed to serve three years in a juvenile prison.
The Twitter attack in July 2020 hijacked various verified Twitter accounts. Including then Democratic candidate Joe Biden and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Former US President Barack Obama, reality TV stars Kim Kardashian, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Benjamin Netanyahu, Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg And Kane West’s account was also hit.
The alleged hackers used these accounts to claim digital currency, prompting Twitter to take extraordinary measures to prevent some verified accounts from posting messages within a few hours until they can regain control of the accounts.
According to the criminal lawsuit, the accounts of cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance, Gemini, and Coinbase, and the accounts of companies such as Apple and Uber Technologies Inc. were also stolen.
The complaint stated that these messages instructed people to send cryptocurrency to various accounts and generated approximately $117,000 through 415 transfers. The other two Bitcoin addresses posted received an additional $6,700 for 100 transactions.
The authorities claimed that Juvenile 1 contacted many other people and claimed that he could “reset, exchange, and control any Twitter account at will, and would do so in exchange for Bitcoin transfers”.
Investigators said that the two Nima Fazeli and Mason Shepard recruited by Youth 1 agreed to act as intermediaries to help find buyers of Twitter usernames in exchange for fees. The complaint stated that both Fazeli and Shepard were criminally charged in this case on July 30, 2020.
After the FBI interviewed another unnamed teenager No. 2, O’Connor’s role in the attack was exposed, and the latter confirmed his identity. Teenager 2 said that O’Connor has communicated about accessing certain Twitter accounts, which may include the accounts of former President Donald Trump.
The indictment stated that criminal investigators in California began receiving tips about O’Connor using the online nickname PlugwalkJoe as early as 2018.
A spokesperson for the Justice Department said that O’Connor is expected to hold a detention hearing in Spain on Thursday.