Apple’s official account was one of more than 100 taken over in the Twitter hack just over a year ago. One of those involved was quickly arrested and subsequently imprisoned, and another of those accused has now been arrested …
Around 130 high-profile Twitter accounts were taken over in July 2020, including Apple, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mike Bloomberg, Kayne West, Uber, Floyd Mayweather, Warren Buffett, and Barack Obama.
The attack was carried out by Florida teen Graham Clark, who somehow managed to convince a Twitter employee that he worked in the company’s IT team, and was then given access to the customer service portal. That embarrassing security fail allowed him to update account details, and subsequently use them to tweet a Bitcoin scam.
The scheme only netted a little over $100K, which was rather small considering the potential harm that could have been done through control of these accounts. Clark admitted his guilt and was given a three-year prison sentence.
New Twitter hack arrest
The US Department of Justice has announced the arrest of another suspect in the case.
A citizen of the United Kingdom was arrested today in Estepona, Spain, by Spanish National Police pursuant to a U.S. request for his arrest on multiple charges in connection with the July 2020 hack of Twitter that resulted in the compromise of over 130 Twitter accounts, including those belonging to politicians, celebrities and companies.
Joseph O’Connor, 22, is charged by criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
According to court documents, in addition to the July 15, 2020, hack of Twitter, O’Connor is charged with computer intrusions related to takeovers of TikTok and Snapchat user accounts. O’Connor is also charged with cyberstalking a juvenile victim.
O’Connor is charged with three counts of conspiracy to intentionally access a computer without authorization and obtaining information from a protected computer; two counts of intentionally accessing a computer without authorization and obtaining information from a protected computer; one count of conspiracy to intentionally access a computer without authorization and, with the intent to extort from a person a thing of value, transmitting a communication containing a threat; one count of making extortive communications; one count of making threatening communications; and two counts of cyberstalking. If O’Connor is convicted, a federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The UK’s National Crime Agency assisted with the investigation.