Florida teen charged in massive Twitter hack, Bitcoin theft

Ruben Fields
July 31, 2020

The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office filed 30 felony charges against Graham Ivan Clark, 17, for "scamming people across America" in the July 15 attack, in which tweets were posted from high-profile accounts that said anyone who sent BitCoins to a specific address would get twice as much sent back.

The 17-year-old boy was arrested earlier Friday in Tampa, where the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office will prosecute the case.

Prosecutors allege the July 15 scheme "stole the identities of prominent people" and "posted messages in their names directing victims to send Bitcoin" to accounts that were associated with the Tampa teen.

Twitter has provided an update on its recent hack which saw multiple high-profile users hijacked to spread a Bitcoin scam generating over $100,000 for hackers.

In a statement, Warren said that the FBI and the US Department of Justice had found the suspect in Hillsborough County after a "complex, nationwide investigation".

An anonymous hacker named "Kirk" told media earlier this month that they breached the platform using credentials they bought from a Twitter employee. The culprits may be young hackers who met through a network of people who steal unique usernames, according to the New York Times.

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He then posted tweets from numerous accounts claiming that they wanted to "give back to the community" and would double Bitcoin donations sent to an attached address.

It was initially reported that hackers may have paid a Twitter employee for access to the account tools, Twitter now appears to be denying this.

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

The US microblogging site said the hackers targeted about 130 accounts, tweeted from 45, accessed inbox of 36, and were able to download Twitter data from seven.

Twitter says it is taking a "hard look" at how it can improve the sophistication of its internal tools and systems, and in the meantime it has significantly limited access to them until it can safely resume normal operations. It didn't provide any more information about how the attack was carried out, but the details released so far suggest the hackers started by using the old-fashioned method of talking their way past security.

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