Florida teen accused of being ‘mastermind’ behind celebrity Twitter hack

Florida teen accused of being ‘mastermind’ behind celebrity Twitter hack

Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren introduced right now that he has filed 30 felony fees in opposition to a 17-year-old resident of Tampa, Florida, who was described by Warren’s workplace as “the mastermind of the latest hack of Twitter .”

The hack in query occurred earlier this month and concerned high-profile Twitter customers like Apple, Elon Musk, Joe Biden and Barack Obama, whose accounts all posted messages selling a Bitcoin pockets and claiming, “All Bitcoin despatched to the handle under shall be despatched again doubled!”

The teen (we’re not figuring out them as a result of they’re a minor) allegedly made greater than $100,000 by way of this cryptocurrency rip-off.

The state legal professional’s workplace stated that the teenager was arrested earlier right now after an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice, and that they are going to be tried as an grownup. They face fees together with one depend of organized fraud (over $50,000) and 17 counts of communications fraud (over $300).

“These crimes have been perpetrated utilizing the names of well-known folks and celebrities, however they’re not the first victims right here,” Warren stated in an announcement. “This ‘Bit-Con’ was designed to steal cash from common Americans from everywhere in the nation, together with right here in Florida. This large fraud was orchestrated proper right here in our yard, and we won’t stand for that.”

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As we reported on the time, the hack used Twitter’s personal inside administrative instrument to achieve entry to high-profile accounts. In a tweet, the corporate stated, “We respect the swift actions of regulation enforcement on this investigation and can proceed to cooperate because the case progresses. For our half, we’re targeted on being clear and offering updates repeatedly.”

Earlier right now, Twitter up to date its weblog put up outlining what it is aware of in regards to the assault:

The social engineering that occurred on July 15, 2020, focused a small variety of workers by way of a telephone spear phishing assault. A profitable assault required the attackers to acquire entry to each our inside community in addition to particular worker credentials that granted them entry to our inside help instruments. Not all the workers that have been initially focused had permissions to make use of account administration instruments, however the attackers used their credentials to entry our inside programs and achieve details about our processes. This data then enabled them to focus on extra workers who did have entry to our account help instruments. Using the credentials of workers with entry to those instruments, the attackers focused 130 Twitter accounts, in the end Tweeting from 45, accessing the DM inbox of 36, and downloading the Twitter Data of seven.

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To forestall an identical assault from succeeding sooner or later, Twitter stated will probably be “accelerating a number of of our pre-existing safety workstreams and enhancements to our instruments” and in addition enhancing the strategies it makes use of to detect and cease inappropriate entry to its inside programs.

Update: In an announcement of its personal, the Justice Department three folks have been truly charged for his or her alleged roles within the hack — not simply the teenager in Tampa, but additionally 19-year-old Mason Sheppard, a.ok.a. “Chaewon,” of the United Kingdom (accused of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit cash laundering and the intentional entry of a protected laptop) and 22-year-old Nima Fazeli, a.ok.a. “Rolex,” of Orlando, Florida (accused of aiding and abetting the intentional entry of a protected laptop), who’re each dealing with fees within the Northern District of California.

“There is a false perception throughout the prison hacker neighborhood that assaults just like the Twitter hack may be perpetrated anonymously and with out consequence,” stated U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson in an announcement. “Today’s charging announcement demonstrates that the elation of nefarious hacking right into a safe atmosphere for enjoyable or revenue shall be short-lived.  Criminal conduct over the Internet could really feel stealthy to the individuals who perpetrate it, however there’s nothing stealthy about it.  In specific, I need to say to would-be offenders, break the regulation, and we are going to discover you.”

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Twitter says ‘telephone spear phishing assault’ used to achieve community entry in crypto rip-off breach


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