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

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

The culprit behind a massive Twitter hack on July 15 may have been caught, as a 17-year-old Florida male has been arrested and met with 30 felony charges by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who have accused him of being the "mastermind" behind the scheme.

The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office called Clark the "mastermind" of the July 15 breach, which saw famous Twitter accounts hijacked and used to plead for donations of bitcoin to a wallet controlled by the attacker.

The Tampa teenager managed to gain access to numerous Twitter accounts, including those of former US President Barack Obama, US presidential candidate Joe Biden, billionaires Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, rapper Kanye West and his wife, model Kim Kardashian.

According to State Attorney Andrew Warren, Clark will be prosecuted in Hillsborough County because "this defendant lives here in Tampa" and "he committed the crime here".

The company said that the attacker targeted 130 accounts, tweeted from 45 of them, accessed 36 DM inboxes and copied account data from 7.

Graham Clark has been met with 30 felony charges, including hacking, identity theft, organized fraud, and communications fraud - all in connection with the historic hack.

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A first information report (FIR) was registered against the under-trial prisoner in a local police station of Peshawar in 2018. Faced with death threats from Islamic extremists upon her release, she flew to Canada to join her daughters previous year .

On July 15, hackers posted tweets from several prominent, verified Twitter users' accounts, falsely claiming that any bitcoin sent to a certain address would be paid back in double.

They said that they have made the move to significantly limit access to their internal tools and systems while they continue to investigate the breach, and that the "Your Twitter Data download feature" has been impacted and their response time to queries and support needs will be slower.

According to a Reuters report, over 1,000 Twitter contractors and employees had access to the company's internal tools before the attack. Twitter has said that it is now improving its "methods of detecting and preventing inappropriate access" to its internal systems and "prioritizing security work" across its teams. Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders has said his inbox was among those accessed.

The Twitter update acknowledged that since the hack occurred, many have raised questions and concerns about the levels of employee access to users' accounts.

It is also possible the hackers pretended to call from the company's legitimate help line by spoofing the number, he said.

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