A 17-year-old from Florida is said to be primarily responsible for the large-scale hacker attack on Twitter accounts of numerous celebrities. Around two weeks after the hack, the police arrested the teenager as the main suspect. The 17-year-old is the “mastermind” of the hack, the prosecutor said. There were 30 charges, prosecutor Andrew Warren said. The accused Graham Ivan C. is being treated by the judiciary given the seriousness of the offenses as an adult, which could result in a longer prison sentence.
Shortly after confirmation of the 17-year-old’s arrest, the U.S. Department of Justice said two other people were also accused of the case. Mason S. from Great Britain and Nima F. from Orlando, Florida, are said to have been involved in the hack. The prosecutor had previously not wanted to comment on whether other people were involved.
The accounts of numerous celebrities were hijacked in the unprecedented Twitter hack, including the profiles of ex-President Barack Obama, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Tesla boss Elon Musk. Company accounts, such as those from Apple, were also hacked.
The accounts called on users in tweets to send the cryptocurrency Bitcoin to a specific account – with the promise of repaying the amount twice. According to prosecutors, the 17-year-old is said to have captured bitcoins worth more than $ 100,000. The 30 charges now include fraud, misuse of personal information, and unauthorized intrusion into computer systems.
17 year old made no resistance
The access of the judiciary is the result of cooperation with the Federal FBI and other authorities, said Warren. The goal of the hack was to steal money from many Americans, which is why the suspect is being held accountable, he said. The 17-year-old made no resistance to the arrest in his Tampa apartment, where he lived alone, Warren said.
After the hack, Twitter said that some employees had been “manipulated” and that the attackers could use their login data to gain access to the company’s internal systems. 130 accounts were affected by the attack. With 45 accounts, the hackers could “take control and send tweets” and change passwords. Personal data was downloaded from eight accounts. In addition to Obama, Gates and Musk, US presidential candidate Joe Biden, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and rap star Kanye West were also affected.
Twitter said on Friday that the company was grateful for the judiciary’s swift action and would continue to cooperate with the investigators.