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Bitcoin fraud Twitter hack: 18-year-old pleads guilty

The first defendant in the July 2020 Twitter attack, in which hackers were able to hijack celebrity accounts and steal Bitcoins, has now pleaded guilty in Florida. The now 18-year-old Graham Ivan Clark accepts loudly Tampa Bay Times three years of juvenile imprisonment followed by a three-year probationary period. This avoids expensive legal proceedings.

Main offender only gets juvenile punishment

Clark and at least two other accomplices had gained access to prominent Twitter accounts and asked their followers to send bitcoins. According to the Tampa Bay Times, it raised $ 117,000. The booty was confiscated to partially compensate victims. Since Clark was only 17 years old at the time of the offense, he gets away with a juvenile sentence. However, if he violates his probation requirements, he faces at least ten years in prison.

The agreement with the public prosecutor's office provides that Clark can only access computers with permission and under official supervision. He also agreed to have his property searched. He also had to give out the passwords for all of his accounts.

Massive wave of Bitcoin fraud

In mid-July 2020, Twitter was overwhelmed by a massive wave of Bitcoin fraud. The Twitter accounts of numerous celebrities including Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mike Bloomberg, Warren Buffet, Floyd Mayweather, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Apple, Uber and others have been hacked. At the time, Twitter confirmed unauthorized access to 45 user accounts.

This was made possible through the use of in-house software. Clark and his accomplices used spear phishing to attack Twitter employees, thereby gaining access to internal systems. According to security researchers, the hackers initially made money by selling coveted Twitter names. Soon, however, tweets from prominent Twitter accounts followed, promising their followers that, out of sheer nicety, they would double back any sum sent to a certain Bitcoin address.

Skeptical followers and quick Twitter reaction force

But Twitter users turned out to be less naive than the hackers might have hoped. Although the celebrities each have millions of followers, only bitcoins worth just over $ 100,000 arrived. Twitter's quick action may have prevented greater damage.

Clark was arrested in late July 2020 and declared innocent in early August, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Two other people, Nima F. from Orlando and Mason S. from Great Britain, are accused as accomplices of selling Clark access to Twitter's internal systems. Since both accomplices were of legal age last year, they face higher sentences. You are charged in the US Federal District Court for Northern California.

The case against Clark is pending in the criminal court of the 13th judicial district of the US state Florida.

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