What just happened? Remember the massive Twitter hack last year that saw the accounts of many high-profile users, including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Apple, Bill Gates, Kanye West, and Jeff Bezos, hijacked by crypto scammers? Spanish police have arrested another person in connection with the incident.
The Department of Justice writes that 22-year-old British national Joseph O’Connor was arrested in Estepona, Spain, yesterday on multiple charges in connection with the Twitter hack at the request of US authorities.
Over 130 Twitter accounts, including those belonging to politicians, celebrities, and companies, were hijacked during last July’s incident. The compromised accounts sent out scam messages that began with a pledge to give back to the community—some mentioned Covid-19—and promised that those who sent Bitcoin to the included address would receive double in return. According to public records, around $120,000 was paid into the perpetrators' wallet.
Twitter later confirmed that employees with access to internal systems and tools had been targeted in coordinated social engineering attacks that tricked them into thinking they were talking to co-workers on the phone. Once the criminals gained the login credentials, they were able to access Twitter’s internal tools and take control of the accounts.
O’Connor has been charged with several crimes related to the Twitter hack, as well as charges related to hijacks of TikTok and Snapchat user accounts. He is also charged with cyberstalking a juvenile victim.
There have been three other previous arrests linked to the hack, including teenagers Graham Ivan Clark and Mason Sheppard and then 22-year-old Nima Fazeli. Clark was jailed for three years in March 2021, avoiding the minimum 10-year term because he was sentenced as a “youthful offender”—he was 17 at the time of the incident.
Image credit: Budrul Chukrut