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

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

Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren announced today that he has filed 30 felony charges against a 17-year-old resident of Tampa, Florida, who was described by Warren’s office as “the mastermind of the recent hack of Twitter .” The hack in question occurred earlier this month and involved high-profile Twitter users like Apple, Elon Musk, Joe…

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

Hillsborough Affirm Attorney Andrew Warren launched this day that he has filed 30 felony costs in opposition to a 17-yr-extinct resident of Tampa, Florida, who was described by Warren’s office as “the mastermind of the latest hack of Twitter .”

The hack in demand came about earlier this month and concerned excessive-profile Twitter users like Apple, Elon Musk, Joe Biden and Barack Obama, whose accounts all posted messages promoting a Bitcoin wallet and claiming, “All Bitcoin sent to the contend with below will most seemingly be sent again doubled!”

The minute one (we’re no longer identifying them because they’re a minor) allegedly made bigger than $100,000 thru this cryptocurrency scam.

The train attorney’s office acknowledged that the minute one was arrested earlier this day after an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice, and that they will be tried as an grownup. They face costs alongside with one depend of organized fraud (over $50,000) and 17 counts of communications fraud (over $300).

“These crimes had been perpetrated using the names of infamous of us and celebrities, however they’re no longer the foremost victims right here,” Warren acknowledged in a press release. “This ‘Bit-Con’ was designed to intention shut money from regular People from throughout the country, alongside with right here in Florida. This broad fraud was orchestrated honest right here in our yard, and we won’t stand for that.”

As we reported at the time, the hack aged Twitter’s maintain interior administrative tool to do get entry to to excessive-profile accounts. In a tweet, the firm acknowledged, “We cherish the swift actions of legislation enforcement on this investigation and will proceed to cooperate as the case progresses. For our share, we are centered on being transparent and offering updates incessantly.”

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Earlier this day, Twitter as much as this point its weblog put up outlining what it knows about the assault:

The social engineering that came about on July 15, 2020, targeted a minute assortment of staff thru a cellular phone spear phishing assault. A profitable assault required the attackers to do get entry to to every our interior network apart from particular worker credentials that granted them get entry to to our interior abet tools. No longer the complete staff that had been before the entirety targeted had permissions to exhaust narrative administration tools, however the attackers aged their credentials to get entry to our interior systems and do recordsdata about our processes. This recordsdata then enabled them to center of attention on extra staff who did bear get entry to to our narrative abet tools. The usage of the credentials of staff with get entry to to those tools, the attackers targeted 130 Twitter accounts, indirectly Tweeting from 45, gaining access to the DM inbox of 36, and downloading the Twitter Data of seven.

To prevent a identical assault from succeeding in the long crawl, Twitter acknowledged this could well be “accelerating a couple of of our pre-existing security workstreams and enhancements to our tools” and furthermore bettering the strategies it uses to detect and stop inappropriate get entry to to its interior systems.

Change: In an announcement of its maintain, the Justice Department three of us had been basically charged for his or her alleged roles in the hack — no longer ideal the minute one in Tampa, however furthermore 19-yr-extinct Mason Sheppard, a.okay.a. “Chaewon,” of the UK (accused of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and the intentional get entry to of a safe computer) and 22-yr-extinct Nima Fazeli, a.okay.a. “Rolex,” of Orlando, Florida (accused of assisting and abetting the intentional get entry to of a safe computer), who’re every going thru costs in the Northern District of California.

“There is a flawed perception throughout the prison hacker neighborhood that attacks like the Twitter hack could well furthermore be perpetrated anonymously and without final outcome,” acknowledged U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson in a press release. “This day’s charging announcement demonstrates that the elation of putrid hacking correct into a proper environment for fun or profit will most seemingly be rapid-lived.  Prison conduct over the Cyber net could well basically feel stealthy to the these that perpetrate it, however there is nothing stealthy about it.  Namely, I opt to enlighten to would-be offenders, smash the legislation, and we can acquire you.”

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