Three People Accused of Executing Massive Twitter Attack, Stealing More Than $100,000 in Bitcoin

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The US Department of Justice has charged three people in connection with the largest hack in Twitter’s history.

Investigators say 17-year-old Graham Clark of Tampa, Florida is the mastermind behind the attack, aided by 22-year-old Nima Fazeli of Orlando, Florida, and Mason Sheppard, from Bognor Regis in the United Kingdom. 

The three of them, with Clark at their lead, allegedly hacked into VIP Twitter accounts and used them to trick hundreds of unsuspecting victims into giving away their Bitcoin (BTC).      

A criminal complaint from The US Attorney’s Office states,

“The hackers are alleged to have created a scam bitcoin account, to have hacked into Twitter VIP accounts, to have sent solicitations from the Twitter VIP accounts with a false promise to double any bitcoin deposits made to the scam account, and then to have stolen the bitcoin that victims deposited into the scam account.  As alleged in the complaints, the scam bitcoin account received more than 400 transfers worth more than $100,000.”

Clark is presumed to be the main culprit who gained illicit access to Twitter’s internal systems. Twitter says the attackers used a phishing scheme that targeted a small number of employees.

The IRS says its agents “analyzed the blockchain and de-anonymized bitcoin transactions allowing for the identification of two different hackers.” Upon launching an investigation, authorities say they were able to determine who was responsible and bring them into custody within a few weeks. 

We’re sharing an update based on what we know today. We’ll provide a more detailed report on what occurred at a later date given the ongoing law enforcement investigation and after we’ve completed work to further safeguard our service.

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 31, 2020

Clark has been charged as an adult with 30 felony charges, including organized fraud, communications fraud, identity theft, and hacking. His alleged co-perpetrator Fazeli is facing one count of computer intrusion, while the other, Sheppard, is being charged with counts of computer intrusion, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.   

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