Last month, several high profile Twitter accounts were hacked with a bitcoin scam promising “double” bitcoins back for “donations.” Hilariously, the offer was only good for 30 minutes. Apparently, there are a lot of stupid people out there following these accounts because the hackers reportedly raked in over $110k.
Authorities have now tracked down the “mastermind” behind this hack that embarrassed Twitter and sent political, tech, and financial spheres into an immediate tizzy: a 17-year-old from Florida. Being from Florida, I find this amusing—a Florida Teen story, as opposed to our regular and always fun Florida Man stories.
A Tampa teenager is in jail, accused of being the “mastermind” behind a hack on the social media website Twitter that caused limited access to the site and high-profile accounts, according to jail records and the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office.
8 On Your Side’s Ryan Hughes received exclusive information about the arrest of 17-year-old Graham Clark.
Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren filed 30 felony charges against the teen this week for “scamming people across America” in connection with the Twitter hack that happened on July 15. The charges he’s facing include one count of organized fraud, 17 counts of communications fraud, one count of fraudulent use of personal information with over $100,000 or 30 or more victims, 10 counts of fraudulent use of personal information and one count of access to computer or electronic device without authority.
Hillsborough County Jail records show Clark was booked into jail shortly after 6:30 a.m. Friday.
. . . . Former President Barack Obama, presidential candidate Joe Biden, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk were just some of the names who were impacted by the hack. Twitter officials recently said that it had limited access to its internal tools after the high-profile hack.
“These crimes were perpetrated using the names of famous people and celebrities, but they’re not the primary victims here. This ‘Bit-Con’ was designed to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country, including here in Florida,” Warren said in a statement. “This massive fraud was orchestrated right here in our backyard, and we will not stand for that.”
Two others were also involved in the hack, according to WFLA:
According to the state attorney’s office, the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice found the suspect behind the attack in Hillsborough County after a “complex, nationwide investigation.”
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California, Clark is one of three people charged for their alleged roles in the Twitter hack. The two other suspects were identified as 22-year-old Nima Fazeli, a.k.a. “Rolex,” of Orlando and 19-year-old Mason Sheppard, a.k.a. “Chaewon,” of the United Kingdom.
“I want to congratulate our federal law enforcement partners – the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, the FBI, the IRS, and the Secret Service – as well as the Florida Department of Law enforcement. They worked quickly to investigate and identify the perpetrator of a sophisticated and extensive fraud,” State Attorney Warren said in his statement.