Three suspects were arrested and have been charged Friday for the “Bit-Coin” hack of high-profile Twitter accounts that occurred July 15, according to U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of California.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirms 17-year-old Graham Ivan Clark was arrested in Tampa Friday for the high-profile hack.
Clark along with a British teenager, a Florida man, was identified by authorities Friday as the hackers who seized the accounts to scam people around the globe out of more than $100,000 in Bitcoin.
The teenager was arrested Friday in Tampa, where the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office will prosecute him as an adult.
He faces 30 felony charges, according to a news release.
Mason Sheppard, 19, of Bognor Regis, U.K., and Nima Fazeli, 22, of Orlando, was charged in California federal court.
In one of the most high-profile security breaches in recent years, hackers sent out bogus tweets from the accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Mike Bloomberg.
Accounts of a number of tech billionaires including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, were also hacked.
Celebrities Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, were hacked as well.
The tweets offered to send $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to an anonymous Bitcoin address.
“There is a false belief within the criminal hacker community that attacks like the Twitter hack can be perpetrated anonymously and without consequence,” U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson for the Northern District of California said in a news release.
“Today’s charging announcement demonstrates that the elation of nefarious hacking into a secure environment for fun or profit will be short-lived.”
Although the case against the teen was also investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice, Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren explained that his office is prosecuting Clark in Florida state court because Florida law allows minors to be charged as adults in financial fraud cases such as this when appropriate.
He added that Clark was the leader of the hacking scam.
“This defendant lives here in Tampa, he committed the crime here, and he’ll be prosecuted here,” Warren said.
Security experts were not surprised that the alleged mastermind of the hack is a 17-year-old, given the relative amateur nature both of the operation and the hackers’ willingness afterwards to discuss the hack with reporters online.
“I think this is a great case study showing how technology democratizes the ability to commit serious criminal acts,” said Jake Williams, founder of the cybersecurity firm Rendition Infosec.
“I’m not terribly surprised that at least one of the suspects is a minor. There wasn’t a ton of development that went into this attack.”
Williams said the hackers were “extremely sloppy” in how they moved the Bitcoin around.
He also said he was conflicted about whether Clark should be charged as an adult.
“He definitely deserves to pay (for jumping on the opportunity) but potentially serving decades in prison doesn’t seem like justice in this case,” William said.
Twitter previously said hackers used the phone to fool the social media company’s employees into giving them access. It said hackers targeted “a small number of employees through a phone spear-phishing attack.”
“This attack relied on a significant and concerted attempt to mislead certain employees and exploit human vulnerabilities to gain access to our internal systems,” the company tweeted.
After stealing employee credentials and getting into Twitter’s systems, the hackers were able to target other employees who had access to account support tools, the company said.
The hackers targeted 130 accounts. They managed to tweet from 45 accounts, access the direct message inboxes of 36, and download the Twitter data from seven.
Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders has said his inbox was among those accessed.
Internal Revenue Service investigators in Washington, D.C., were able to identify two of the hackers by analyzing Bitcoin transactions on the blockchain — the ledger where transactions are recorded — including ones the hackers attempted to keep anonymous, federal prosecutors said.
Spear-phishing is a more targeted version of phishing, an impersonation scam that uses email or other electronic communications to deceive recipients into handing over sensitive information.
Twitter said it would provide a more detailed report later “given the ongoing law enforcement investigation.”
Painter arrested for allegedly defiling 11-year-old girl in Ebonyi
Police in Ebonyi have arrested a man identified as Mr Anointing, (not real name) for allegedly defiling an 11-year-old girl from Ezza North local government area of the State.
Recounting her ordeal when she was interviewed by the Special Assistant to Ebonyi State Governor on Security and Utility (Capital City) Saint Nchekube Anakor, the Primary 5 pupil said the painter who resides in the same compound (close to the Federal High Court) with them, usually sends her on errands and also makes her bring it to his room.
She also disclosed that Mr Anointing has sexually abused several times before being nabbed.
The girl said;
“He will always sent me to buy something for him, and when I come back, he will tell me to bring it to his room.
“Each time l entered his room, he will be touching my breasts and be inserting his fingers into my vagina. I don’t like what he does to me and I don’t know how to tell my parents.”
Narrating how the suspect was nabbed, Mr Anakor said he got a tip-off of the incident from one Tochuckwu and others from disco two at about 3:30 a.m on Wednesday, August 5.
Upon getting to the compound, he discovered that Mr Anointing had been caught red-handed in the act by his neighbours.
“Thanks to Tochukwu Nwankwegu and others from Disco 12. It was like a joke at exactly 3:30a.m. last night.
“The little girl, aged 11 years, who lives near Federal High Court, Abakaliki, opened up on how one Mr Anointing, a painter who also lives in the same building normally took her to his room and sexually abused her.”
The suspect refused to say anything at the scene of the incident and was taken to Kprirkpiri Police Station in Abakaliki, where he was detained by the Police.
Fake Army Major arrested with 420 packs of Indian hemp in Delta
Fabian E. Ojumah, a 44-year-old man posing as a Major in the Nigerian Army, has been arrested by the Delta State Police Command with substance suspected to be Indian Hemp.
WuzupNigeria gathered that the fake major was arrested by the operatives of the Safer Highways patrol team of the command on the 31 July 2020 along Sapele-Benin Road.
Fabian, who hails from Abbi in Ndokwa-West Local Government Area of Delta, was nabbed with a fake military van with plate number NA142- B01 conveying 420 packs of compressed weeds suspected to be Indian Hemp, the police said in a social media post on Friday.
According to the post, Fabian told the police that he has been involved in the business of Indian Hemp sale since 2014.
He reportedly admitted that the van belongs to him and that he bought the Army plate number from a serving army personnel.
He was said to have revealed that the Army uniform he wore was bought at Mammy market within the barracks.
This, it was gathered, was possible because he grew up in the barracks and thus has a military background, though not a soldier.
Police intercept container filled with tramadol, codeine in Lagos
The police in Apapa Area Command of Lagos State have intercepted a 40-foot container laden with drugs suspected to be Tramadol and codeine.
The container was intercepted on water and taken to a bonded terminal in Apapa.
A team of officers from Customs and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) joined the Area B Commander, Olasoji Akinbayo, on Thursday for inspection.
The Area B Commander has recently intercepted similar imports and has transferred the case and two suspects to government prosecutors.
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