#parent | #kids | Mastermind behind Twitter hack is a teen from Florida: authorities

The “mastermind” behind one of the largest Twitter hacks in history, which targeted high-profile accounts including Elon Musk, Joe Biden and Kanye West, is a 17-year-old kid from Florida, authorities said Friday.

Graham Clark of Tampa was arrested early Friday morning and slapped with 30 felony charges for allegedly hacking into the accounts of high-profile users as part of a sweeping cryptocurrency scam, public records show. Other notable accounts compromised included Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and the corporate account for iPhone maker Apple.

The scheme involved stealing the identities of high-profile people on Twitter then directing victims to send Bitcoin to accounts allegedly associated with Clark — earning him more than $100,000 in Bitcoin in a single day, Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren said.

Clark is facing one count of organized fraud, 17 counts of communications fraud, 10 counts of fraudulent use of personal information and other related charges, Warren’s office said in a statement.

“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.

“This massive fraud was orchestrated right here in our backyard, and we will not stand for that.”

Clark was tracked down after a “complex, nationwide investigation” that included the state attorney’s office, the FBI, the IRS, the Secret Service and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The July 15th breach, considered to be one of the largest in the social media site’s history, arose from a targeted “phishing attack” against its employees, Twitter previously said.

Clark allegedly undertook a “significant and concerted” effort to target staffers that had access to Twitter support tools to successfully hack into 45 accounts.

“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 social media giant previously said.

In addition to the fraudulent tweets, the hackers managed to access the direct message inbox of 36 accounts and downloaded the Twitter data for seven accounts, the company said.

The fraudulent messages were written under the guise of philanthropic ventures, screenshots of the tweets show.

“We are giving back to our community. We support Bitcoin and we believe you should too,” a Tweet from Apple’s account read, according to Forbes.

“All Bitcoin sent to our address below will be sent back to you doubled,” the message adds with a link for donations.


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