Spain’s National Police have arrested a British citizen after the US requested their arrest on multiple charges related to a July 2020 hack that compromised more than 130 Twitter accounts as part of a Bitcoin scam.
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Wednesday, 22-year-old Joseph O’Connor was arrested in Estepona, Spain on multiple charges of hacking. Some of the Twitter accounts have reportedly been compromised including that of US President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama and Tesla founder Elon Musk.
O’Connor will appear in US District Court for the Northern District of California, the DOJ said, to be formally charged with alleged computer break-ins, including hacking into TikTok and Snapchat accounts, and cyberstalking a minor. In addition to these charges, he faces multiple charges for unauthorized access to computers, as well as threatening and extortionate communications.
In July 2020, Twitter confirmed that more than 130 accounts had been targeted by hackers who used a spear phishing attack to steal personal information and gain access to the accounts. Messages were then posted of the compromised accounts advertising a scam cryptocurrency scheme, which reportedly secured more than $100,000 worth of bitcoin before the platform shut down their operations.
Three other young men have been arrested in connection with the scam. A Florida teenager, who was just 17 at the time of the hack, pleaded guilty in March 2021 to coordinating the hack and has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Meanwhile, a 22-year-old from Florida and a 19-year-old resident of the UK have also been charged for their alleged involvement and are on trial.
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