Three charged over Twitter hack

Twitter said bitcoin scammers who accessed dozens of high-profile accounts used

17-year-old Graham Clark is facing 30 felony charges for "scamming people across America" with the Twitter hack. Two others were charged by federal authorities for allegedly aiding in the scheme by serving as brokers on the sale of compromised Twitter accounts: Mason Sheppard, 19, of the United Kingdom, and Nima Fazeli, 22, of Orlando.

Mr Sheppard was one of three people charged with the hack, which took place earlier this month and saw accounts belonging to Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Barack Obama hijacked and used to post links to Bitcoin wallets along with false claims that payments would be matched.

Celebrities Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, were also hacked. The profiles were then used to share tweets inviting followers to transfer $1,000 in bitcoins to an anonymous Bitcoin address to receive $2,000 in return.

US Attorney David L Anderson, for the Northern District of California, while addressing arrest of the Twitter hack suspect mentioned that there is a false belief within the criminal hacker community that attacks like the Twitter hack can be perpetrated anonymously and without outcome.

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

Investigators identified Florida resident Graham Ivan Clark as the "mastermind" of the cyberattack and arrested him in Tampa, Hillsborough state attorney Andrew Warren said.

Warren said that his office was handling the prosecution because Florida law allows greater flexibility than the federal law to charge a minor as an adult in cases like this. From there, Twitter said, the attackers targeted 130 Twitter accounts, tweeting from 45 of them, accessing the direct messages of 36 accounts, and downloading the Twitter data of seven.


"A successful attack required the attackers to obtain access to both our internal network as well as specific employee credentials that granted them access to our internal support tools", the company said.

On Thursday, Twitter released more details about how the hack went down, saying the intruders "targeted a small number of employees through a phone spear phishing attack", that "relies on a significant and concerted attempt to mislead certain employees and exploit human vulnerabilities to gain access to our internal systems".

Kirk was not well known to any of these hackers, and his Discord account only dates back to July 7. Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders has said his inbox was among those accessed.

Twitter said in a statement: "We appreciate the swift actions of law enforcement in this investigation and will continue to cooperate as the case progresses".

The company also says it us "improving our methods for detecting and preventing inappropriate access to our internal systems".

Only two weeks after the most catastrophic hack ever to have hit Twitter, the Federal Bureau of Investigation managed to track down the persons responsible and arrest them in simultaneous operations taking place in Florida and the United Kingdom. He will be charged as an adult under Florida law.

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