British man arrested for alleged function in July 2020 Twitter hack

The Spanish Nationwide police arrested Joseph O’Connor, 22, in Estonia on Wednesday on the request of U.S authorities for his alleged function within the July 2020 hack of Twitter that compromised greater than 130 accounts, together with ones belonging to politicians and celebrities.

O’Connor, a citizen of the UK, can also be charged with hacks of TikTok and Snapchat accounts, and cyberstalking of a juvenile sufferer, the Division of Justice mentioned.

Last summer’s high-profile breach impacted the accounts of then-Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, former President Obama, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Tesla’s Elon Musk.

Different billionaires like Michael Bloomberg and Invoice Gates had been focused as properly. Celebrities Kanye West and his spouse Kim Kardashian West had been additionally hacked. The hackers posted bogus tweets and requested followers of the compromised accounts to ship $1,000 in bitcoin to an deal with in alternate for $2,000.

The fraudulent bitcoin account obtained greater than 400 transfers value over $100,000 earlier than the operation was shut down.

Final yr, Twitter mentioned it had detected what it believed to be “a coordinated social engineering assault by individuals who efficiently focused a few of our staff with entry to inner techniques and instruments,” including that it “instantly locked down” the hacked accounts and eliminated the fraudulent tweets.

A Twitter spokesperson declined to touch upon Wednesday’s arrest.

O’Connor is the fourth particular person to be charged in reference to final July’s hack. The Division of Justice beforehand charged three others for his or her roles within the hack. Final yr, Florida teenager Graham Ivan Clark was arrested in Tampa and recognized by authorities because the “mastermind” of the operation.

The FBI San Francisco division is main the investigation with help from different U.S companies. The DOJ mentioned the U.Ok.’s Nationwide Crime Company and the Spanish Nationwide police additionally helped with the investigation and O’Connor’s arrest.

Andres Triay contributed to this report. 

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