Florida minor arrested in Twitter bitcoin hack

Brunilde Fioravanti
Agosto 1, 2020

State prosecutors have charged a Florida teenager with being the main force behind the recent hack of high-profile Twitter accounts, according to a news station in Tampa, Fla.

It worked, in spectacular fashion.

Florida officials said Clark is facing 30 felony charges. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos and Tesla Inc.

The 19-year-old Mason Sheppard (aka "Chaewon") of the United Kingdom was charged in a criminal complaint in the Northern District of California with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and the intentional access of a protected computer.

Lawyers or family members for the defendants couldn't be located for comment.

Mr Fazeli's father said on Friday (local time) he hadn't been able to talk to his son since Thursday. "I believe he didn't do it".

Twitter said it appreciated the "swift actions of law enforcement".

The scheme was pretty lucrative. authorities say the hack reeled in more than $100,000 in Bitcoin.

The negotiations over highly-prized Twitter usernames took place just prior to the hijacked celebrity accounts tweeting out bitcoin scams. From there, they moved to compromise 130 Twitter accounts, tweeted from 45 of them, accessed the DM inbox of 36, and downloaded the data of seven.

The criminal complaint said the attack consisted of a combination of technical breaches and social engineering.

"This could have had a massive, massive amount of money stolen from people, it could have destabilized financial markets within America and across the globe; because he had access to powerful politicians' Twitter accounts, he could have undermined politics as well as worldwide diplomacy", Warren said. Twitter disputed the former employees' characterization of the company's oversight of accounts. The scam netted the hackers 400 payments with a total value of $121,000 - a tidy sum for a handful of tweets.

"This is not a game [.] these are serious crimes with serious consequences, and if you think you can rip people off online and get away with it, you'll be in for a rude awakening, a rude awakening that comes in the form of a 6:00 AM knock on your door from federal agents", he said in a later statement. "You send $1,000; I send you back $2,000".

On Discord, Fazeli asked Clark for access to the Twitter handle @foreign. Kirk#5270 isn't identified in the complaint, though federal authorities said he played a central role in the Twitter hack.

Sheppard's alleged alias Chaewon was mentioned twice in stories here since the July 15 incident. "He gained access to Twitter accounts and to the internal controls of Twitter through compromising a Twitter employee".

US Attorney David L Anderson, for the Northern District of California, while addressing arrest of the Twitter hack suspect mentioned that there is a false belief within the criminal hacker community that attacks like the Twitter hack can be perpetrated anonymously and without effect. "Today's charging announcement demonstrates that the elation of nefarious hacking into a secure environment for fun or profit will be short-lived".

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