Monday, 03 August, 2020

United Kingdom man one of three charged over Twitter hack

Twitter has released new details about its massive hack Twitter has released new details about its massive hack. Image Omar Marques SOPA Images Light Rocket via Getty Images
Adrian Cunningham | 02 August, 2020, 00:41

Graham Ivan Clark, 17, allegedly hijacked 130 Twitter accounts as part of a cryptocurrency scam, according to a criminal affidavit filed in Tampa, Florida. While 17 of them were communication frauds, 10 of them were personal data frauds, there were also 1 organized fraud, 1 unauthorized access to electronic devices and 1 personal data fraud up to $ 100 thousand.

The Florida teen, now in custody, is being charged as an adult, and the ensuing press conference made it clear that in light of how bad the hack could have been - not simply charging based on the more than $100,000 in bitcoin the teen is alleged to have scammed from unwitting Twitter users. I've spoken to him every day.

US Attorney David L Anderson said the arrests proved "nefarious hacking. for fun or profit" did not pay off.

A group of teenagers, Mason Sheppard, 19 from California, an unnamed 17-year-old teenager from Florida and a man living in Bognor Regis - on the United Kingdom south coast are the three suspects charged over a major Twitter hack.

Twitter said a total of 130 user accounts were targeted in the latest attack, out of which only 45 verified accounts were exploited to publish scam tweets.

The next day, those accounts transfered almost all of the digital currency, in 11 transfers, to other Bitcoin wallets, in an effort to hide or launder the money, according to government filings. "These partners worked extremely quickly to investigate and identify the perpetrators of this sophisticated and extensive fraud", State Attorney Warren said in a video news conference from today.

Earlier this month a number of Twitter accounts belonging to prominent, highly-followed individuals like Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos were compromised, seemingly to defraud strangers out of bitcoin. Mohamad Fazeli said. "I'm sure this is a mix-up".

Fazeli and Sheppard are charged with a criminal complaint, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, unauthorized access to a computer, and money laundering.

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In a statement, Twitter said that it appreciated the swift actions of law enforcement agents in Florida.

"This could have had a massive, massive amount of money stolen from people, it could have destabilized financial markets within America and across the globe".

"This is like the original hackers from the 1980s and 1990s; they were very good at conning people and getting them to give their credentials", Dickson said.

Clark was also bragging to Sheppard at the same time about his access, saying that he works for Twitter and that he can "claim any name".

The hacker had access to Twitter's internal tool, which allowed him to impersonate several famous people and companies.

The minor was arrested on Friday morning in Tampa after an investigation conducted by federal and state investigators, Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said in a statement Friday.

The criminal complaint said the attack consisted of a combination of technical breaches and social engineering.