A 17-year-old, suspected of being the main memory of the spectacular Twitter celebrity hack in mid-July, was charged in Florida on Friday.
A 17-year-old young man suspected of being the mastermind of the spectacular piracy of celebrity accounts on Twitter in mid-July was charged on Friday, July 31 in Florida, a legal source has learned. “This huge scam was orchestrated right here in our backyard,” prosecutor Andrew Warren said in a statement. Two other people have also been charged.
The young man, Graham Ivan Clark, arrested in Tampa (Florida) early on Friday, is accused of leveling personalities, including former President Barack Obama and Tesla chief Elon Musk.
45 accounts hacked, more than $ 100,000 in bitcoins collected
“He published messages on their behalf and asked victims to send bitcoins (a cryptocurrency), thus collecting more than $ 100,000 in bitcoins in a single day,” the prosecutor’s statement describes.
Graham Ivan Clark, considered the main memory of the operation, is accused of fraud involving communication and use of personal information.
“He lives here in Tampa, he committed the crime here and he will be tried here,” Andrew Warren added, adding that Florida law allows both minors and adults to be charged with financial fraud “in a case like this, when appropriate.”
Two other charges
Two other people have also been charged, including one living in the UK. “Mason Sheppard, alias ‘Chaewon’, 19, domiciled in the UK, has been charged with conspiracy to commit electronic fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and intentional access to a protected computer,” the US Department of Justice said in a statement.
Originally from Orlando (Florida), Nima Fazeli, nicknamed “Rolex”, 22, is suspected of having helped and encouraged intentional access to a protected computer.
Twitter said the attack also targeted a handful of employees with a phishing operation to get their credentials.
Out of 130 targeted accounts, 45 were hacked, including politicians like Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, former president Barack Obama and big executives like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Tesla boss Elon Musk, or Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft.
“There is a false belief in the criminal hacking community that attacks like the Twitter hack can be carried out anonymously and without consequence,” said U.S. Attorney David Anderson, an official in Tampa, Florida. “I mean for potential offenders, break the law and we will find you,” he said, quoting in a statement.