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A British man was arrested Wednesday in Spain in reference to the 2020 hack of Twitter accounts belonging to Apple, President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, Tesla chief Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and greater than 100 others to swindle their followers out of bitcoin, the Justice Department stated.
The accused man, Joseph O’Connor, was busted in Estepona by Spanish National Police on the request of U.S. authorities, who now will search his extradition.
O”Connor, 22, is charged in a felony criticism in California federal courtroom with counts associated to the unlawful compromise of greater than 130 Twitter accounts in the hack on July 15, 2020.
Three different individuals beforehand had been charged in reference to the hack, together with a then-17-year-old in Florida who was the alleged “mastermind” of the assault. A prosecutor stated final yr that the scam netted greater than $100,000 price of bitcoin.
O’Connor can be accused of cyberstalking a juvenile sufferer and pc intrusions of TikTok and Snapchat consumer accounts.
The Twitter account victims additionally included Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, actuality tv famous person Kim Kardashian, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, musicians Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa, the Cash App company account, and Uber’s company account. The bitcoin-related tweet was Apple’s first-ever tweet, though the account had positioned adverts in the previous.
During the hacks, messages that stated “I’m giving again to my group” or some variation have been posted by the accounts.
The message urged followers of the accounts to ship the cryptocurrency bitcoin to an deal with, saying the followers then can be repaid double the quantity that they had despatched.
Rachel Tobac, CEO of cybersecurity agency SocialProof Security, informed NBC News on the time that the assault was possible the most important Twitter had ever seen.
“We are fortunate the attackers are going after bitcoin (cash motivated) and never motivated by chaos and destruction,” Tobac stated.
Twitter final yr had stated, “The social engineering that occurred on July 15, 2020, focused a small quantity of workers by way of a cellphone spear phishing assault.”
“A profitable assault required the attackers to acquire entry to each our inside community in addition to particular worker credentials that granted them entry to our inside help instruments,” Twitter stated.
“Not all of the staff that have been initially focused had permissions to make use of account administration instruments, however the attackers used their credentials to entry our inside techniques and acquire details about our processes.”
O’Connor is charged with three counts of conspiracy to deliberately entry a pc with out authorization and acquiring info from a protected pc; two counts of deliberately accessing a pc with out authorization and acquiring info from a protected pc; and one depend of conspiracy to deliberately entry a pc with out authorization and, with the intent to extort from an individual a factor of worth, transmitting a communication containing a menace.
He is also charged with one depend of making extortive communications; one depend of making threatening communications; and two counts of cyberstalking.