UK man arrested for massive Twitter hack that targeted Biden, Musk in 2020


UK man arrested in Spain for alleged role in hacking high-profile Twitter account targeted politicians and celebrities in 2020, US Department of Justice said Wednesday.

The Spanish National Police arrested 22-year-old Joseph O’Connor on behalf of US authorities. In a criminal complaint filed in federal court in San Francisco, O’Connor was charged with cyberstalking a teenager as well as computer intrusion related to the acquisition of TikTok and Snapchat user accounts. O’Connor was charged with a total of 10 counts.

Hackers took over 130 accounts including Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Kanye West and Barack Obama in July 2020 and tricked people into sending more than $100,000 in bitcoin to the addresses cited in the tweet. The widespread hack raised concerns about whether Twitter was doing enough to protect the security of its users ahead of the US presidential election.

Twitter said the hack was the result of a “coordinated social engineering attack” on its employees.

O’Connor isn’t the only person arrested in connection with the hack. Last year, the Justice Department filed 30 serious charges against Florida teen Graham Evan Clarke, who was 17 at the time. Clark, accused of being the “mastermind” behind the Twitter hack, then pleaded guilty in exchange for a three-year prison sentence.

It was not immediately clear whether O’Connor had legal representation.

Two others, UK resident Mason Shepard and Florida resident Nima Fazeli, were also arrested for their alleged role in the hack.

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