A 22-year-old man was arrested in Spain on Wednesday in connection with the hack of more than 100 Twitter accounts last July, becoming the fourth person charged in an incident that led to the social networking service being hacked. The association is temporarily closed.
The Justice Department said Joseph O’Connor faces assault, blackmail and cyber charges for violating Twitter as well as hacking Snapchat and TikTok accounts in the United States.
The Twitter hack started when hackers connected in an online forum last year focused on buying and selling rare usernames. They then broke into Twitter’s systems by tricking employees into providing login information. The hackers used an administrative tool to hijack the accounts of political figures and celebrities, including former President Barack Obama, Kanye West and Elon Musk, using these accounts to execute present a Bitcoin scam.
Graham Ivan Clark, an 18-year-old man accused by prosecutors of the “mastermind” of the Twitter hack, pleaded guilty in March to fraud in a Florida court and agreed to serve three years in prison as a juvenile. year. Two others, Mason Sheppard and Nima Fazeli, were arrested and charged with mediating Mr. Clark to sell Twitter accounts.
Mr. O’Connor is a well-known figure among hackers who trade usernames, going by the name “PlugWalkJoe.” According to chat logs the hackers shared with The New York Times last July, Mr O’Connor briefly interacted with the group, gaining control of [email protected]
At the time, Mr. O’Connor denied involvement in the Bitcoin scam. “I don’t care,” he said in an interview. “They could come and arrest me. I will laugh at them. I have not done any thing “.
According to an affidavit issued by a Federal Bureau of Investigation representative who investigated the breach, Twitter logs show that a Twitter account belonging to Mr. O’Connor viewed several accounts, as if shopping, during attack time.
Mr O’Connor, of Britain, faces extradition to the United States and will face charges in Northern California. Attorneys for Mr. O’Connor could not be immediately identified. Twitter declined to comment.