The supposed “brain” of the operation has just graduated from high school.
In Florida, USA, a 17-year-old teenager was arrested on suspicion of large-scale hacking of Twitter accounts, including Elon Musk and Bill Gates. First it reported local edition WFLA co referring to Prosecutor Hillboro County. According to the investigation, the teenager was the “brain” of the operation. His name has not yet been publicly disclosed.
The teenager was detained on the morning of July 31 by the local police, the Secret Service and the FBI. He is now in custody. The authorities noted that the teenager “just finished school.” Despite his age, they intend to judge him as an adult.
The teenager was charged with 30 counts, including organized fraud, illegal use of personal data and hacking.The prosecutor’s release refers to the actions of the hackers as “an intricately organized attack of unprecedented magnitude.” They hacked about 130 Twitter accounts of celebrities and companies, posted there offers to transfer them bitcoins to the address of a specially created wallet and promised to return twice as much, after which they took the money. According to the Ministry of Justice, which cites complaints, the account received 400 transfers totaling over $ 100,000.
It was initially unknown if there were other suspects in the case. However, shortly after the news about the teenager, the US Department of Justice announced that it had indicted two more people – 22-year-old Nima Fazeli from Orlando and 19-year-old Mason Sheppard from the UK. Fazeli operated under the nickname “Rolex” and Sheppard “Chaewon”.
Fazeli was charged on one count: she faces five years in prison and a $ 250,000 fine for burglary. Sheppard was accused of burglary, conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering – he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $ 250,000 fine.Almost immediately after the news of the detention appeared, Twitter spoke approvingly about the actions of the authorities and promised to cooperate with them further. The company also noted that it strives to be transparent and regularly report on new details of the investigation.
We appreciate the swift actions of law enforcement in this investigation and will continue to cooperate as the case progresses. For our part, we are focused on being transparent and providing updates regularly.— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) July 31, 2020
For the latest, see here 👇 https://t.co/kHty8TXaly
The break-in took place on the night of July 16. Hackers hijacked verified Twitter accounts of major companies and celebrities with millions of followers, including Apple, Uber, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama and Kanye West. Fraudulent publications were posted on their accounts with an offer to transfer bitcoins.
Twitter removed the tweets and temporarily restricted the ability to post to verified accounts. The company later attributed the hack to a “coordinated attack” on employees using social engineering.