Florida Teen Arrested in Twitter Hack

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OAKLAND, Calif. — The authorities mentioned on Friday {that a} Florida teenager was the “mastermind” of a latest high-profile hack of 130 Twitter accounts, together with the accounts of celebrities like former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the Silicon Valley mogul Elon Musk.

Graham Ivan Clark, 17, was arrested in his Tampa house early Friday, state officers mentioned. He’s believed to be the linchpin of a hack that became a humiliation for Twitter and known as into query the safety measures of a spread of tech corporations. Two different folks have been additionally charged with participating within the hack.

Federal authorities have been already monitoring Mr. Clark earlier than the Twitter hack. In April, the Secret Service seized over $700,000 price of Bitcoin from him, in line with authorized paperwork. The Tampa youth faces 30 felony fees, together with fraud, and is being charged as an grownup.

The Twitter hack started on July 15 as an effort to steal and promote uncommon consumer names. It shortly escalated, because the hackers took over accounts belonging to cryptocurrency corporations and celebrities. The scheme netted Bitcoin price greater than $180,000.

Federal authorities additionally introduced fees towards Mason John Sheppard, 19, of the UK, and Nima Fazeli, 22, of Orlando, Fla. They’re accused of appearing as brokers throughout the hack by promoting stolen Twitter consumer names.

The hackers tweeted from 45 of the accounts, gained entry to the direct messages of 36 accounts, and downloaded full data from seven accounts. They gained entry to inside Twitter programs by stealing login data from staff, then used their entry to reset passwords on the accounts.

“Whereas investigations into cyber breaches can typically take years, our investigators have been capable of convey these hackers into custody in a matter of weeks,” mentioned John Bennett, a particular agent in cost with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Cyber criminals is not going to discover sanctuary behind their keyboards.”

In a statement, Twitter thanked legislation enforcement for its “swift actions” and mentioned it could proceed to cooperate with the investigation.

Hackers concerned within the breach told The New York Times that they’d been quietly promoting stolen consumer names when one individual of their group, who glided by the identify Kirk, abruptly launched the Bitcoin rip-off earlier than disappearing.

One of many hackers, who used the display identify “ever so anxious,” mentioned he was motivated to take part as a result of he needed to amass distinctive usernames. Through the hack, he took the Twitter deal with “@anxious” for himself.

“i simply kinda discovered it cool having a username that different folks would need,” “ever so anxious” mentioned in a chat with The Occasions.

A particular agent with an Inside Income Service investigative unit recognized “ever so anxious” as Mr. Sheppard in a courtroom submitting.

“Working collectively, we’ll maintain this defendant accountable,” Andrew Warren, the state legal professional of Hillsborough County, Fla., mentioned in an announcement. “Scamming folks out of their hard-earned cash is at all times fallacious. Whether or not you’re making the most of somebody in individual or on the web, making an attempt to steal their money or their cryptocurrency — it’s fraud, it’s unlawful, and also you received’t get away with it.”

It is a creating story. Examine again for updates.

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