In Spain, a suspect in the 2020 Twitter celebrity hack has been apprehended.
According to US officials, a British national involved in the hacking of celebrities’ and politicians’ Twitter accounts last year was apprehended in Spain.
According to the Justice Department, Joseph O’Connor, 22, was detained on a warrant issued by a US federal court in connection with a high-profile hack tied to a cryptocurrency fraud.
O’Connor is accused of hacking over 130 Twitter accounts in July 2020, including those of Apple, Uber, Kanye West, Bill Gates, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Elon Musk.
The hackers took over the celebrity accounts and invited their fans to contribute bitcoin to an account where their money would be doubled.
O’Connor is accused of unlawful computer access, extortion, and cyberstalking, according to the Justice Department.
In a plea agreement earlier this year, the Florida teen accused of masterminding the attack was sentenced to three years in juvenile jail.
Graham Ivan Clark, 18, was sentenced to the maximum possible under Florida’s Youthful Offender Act for his role in the worldwide “Bit-Con” hack in July 2020.
Clark was 17 when he was charged, and because of his age, his case was transferred to a Florida state court.
Clark allegedly utilized his access to Twitter’s internal systems to take over the accounts of various companies and personalities, reaping $100,000 through a mix of “technical breaches and social engineering.”
“Happy Wednesday!” read a tweet on Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter page. I’m returning all of my followers’ Bitcoin. All payments received to the Bitcoin address below will be doubled. You send 0.1 BTC, and I respond with 0.2 BTC!”
It went on to say that the deal was only good for 30 minutes.
The incident on July 15 was caused by a “spear phishing” assault, according to Twitter at the time, which mislead staff about the origin of the messages.
At least 130 accounts were hacked, including Biden’s while he was a presidential contender.