- A 17-year old teen in Tampa, Florida has been arrested in relation to the Twitter hack that took place earlier this month.
- 30 charges have been filed against the arrested teen, Graham Clark.
- Two others have also been arrested for their participation in the massive hack.
A 17-year old was arrested in Tampa, Florida in relation to the Twitter hack which targeted high-profile accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Barack Obama, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian among others. The accounts were hijacked as part of a cryptocurrency scam.
Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren filed 30 charges against Graham Clark. The teen was described as the ‘mastermind’ behind the whole Twitter scam.
“He’s a 17-year-old kid who just graduated from high school,” Warren stated.
“But make no mistake: This was not an ordinary 17-year-old.”
On Friday, the US Department of Justice later stated in a press release that two other people have been arrested in relations to the hack.
Mason Sheppard, 19, from Bogner Regis in Britain, who used the alias ‘Chaewon’, was charged with ‘conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and the intentional access of a protected computer.’ Orlando-based Nima Fazeli, 22, nicknamed ‘Rolex’, was accused of ‘aiding and abetting the intentional access of a protected computer.’
Twitter stated that “it appreciated the swift actions of law enforcement.”
In a press conference, Warren said that Clark was not facing federal charges at this point. He added that the state is handling the prosecution as the Florida law allows more flexibility when prosecuting minors.
Clark was charged with one count of organized fraud over $50,000, 17 counts of communications fraud over $300, one count of fraudulent use of personal information over $100,000 or 30 more victims, 10 counts of fraudulent use of personal information and one count of assessing a computer or electronic device without authority.
Graham Clark convinced a Twitter employee that he was “a co-worker in the IT Department” after which he got access to the tools of the company; Twitter stated.
The hack became apparent when high profile accounts tweeted that they “were feeling generous” and asked for their followers to send bitcoin donations to a bitcoin address and receive twice the amount.
The Department of Justice stated that that generated more than 400 transfers to the scammer’s cryptocurrency wallet worth more than $100,000.
Warren called the hack a “highly sophisticated attack on a magnitude not seen before.” He also said that the hack could have potentially “destabilized financial markets” or “undermined American politics.”
The investigation involved the Secret Service, the U.S Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the IRS as well as the state, local and international law enforcement partners.
Clark’s mother told the NBC News on Friday that she was devastated and believes her son had no involvement.
“I believe he didn’t do it. I’ve spoken to him every day…… I’m devastated.”
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