Florida Teen Arrested for Allegedly Hacking Celeb Twitter Accounts

Brenda Watkins
August 1, 2020

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was the first person targeted, as his account promised to double any payments sent to a bitcoin address.

A stunning attack on the accounts of some of Twitter's most prominent users, including Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, was orchestrated by a 17-year-old in Florida who recently graduated from high school, according to a local state attorney.

Phone calls and an email to Clark's mother were not immediately returned.Warren said the state rather than the federal government was prosecuting Clark because Florida law enabled him to be charged as an adult.

"We appreciate the swift actions of law enforcement in this investigation and will continue to cooperate as the case progresses". This "Bit-Con" was created to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country, including here in Florida.

"The social engineering that occurred on July 15, 2020, targeted a small number of employees through a phone spear phishing attack", wrote Twitter in a blog post on Thursday.

Twitter said a total of 130 user accounts were targeted in the latest attack, out of which only 45 verified accounts were exploited to publish scam tweets.

The negotiations over highly-prized Twitter usernames took place just prior to the hijacked celebrity accounts tweeting out bitcoin scams.

Twitter said it has "significantly limited" access to internal tools and is "improving our methods for detecting and preventing inappropriate access to our internal systems".

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A teenager in Tampa and Nima Fazeli, 22, of Orlando, were also charged in Florida.

Hackers who accessed dozens of high-profile Twitter accounts in mid-July gained access to the system with an attack that tricked a handful of employees into giving up their credentials, according to a company update.

U.S. Attorney David Anderson, of the Northern District of California, said there is a "a false belief" among hackers that they can pull off attacks like the Twitter hack "anonymously and without outcome".

Hillsborough County Jail records show Clark was booked into jail shortly after 6:30 a.m. Friday.

US Attorney David L Anderson said the arrests proved "nefarious hacking. for fun or profit" did not pay off.

Reportedly, Clark was the mastermind behind the massive Twitter hack.

Fazeli's father told the press that he thinks his son is innocent. "In particular, I want to say to would-be offenders, break the law, and we will find you", he said in a statement.

Sheppard, the United Kingdom national, faces up to 45 years imprisonment sentence alongside fine worth $2,500 for hacking a computer if found guilty while Fazeli from Florida could get around five years sentence for his role in the hack if also found guilty.

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