On the evening of July 31, 2020, American law enforcement officers convened a press conference at which announced on the arrest of the main "ideological mastermind" of the Twitter hack. It turned out to be a 17-year-old teenager from Florida, Graham Ivan Clark (Graham Ivan Clark), apparently known on the network under the pseudonym Kirk.
A joint investigation by the FBI, the IRS, the Justice Department, and the Secret Service helped identify the alleged hacker's accomplices. Two other young men were named as such: 19-year-old Mason Sheppard ("Chaewon") from the UK and 22-year-old Nima Fasely ("Rolex") from Florida.
It is known that Graham Ivan Clark has already been charged 30 count chargesincluding:
- financial fraud (over $ 50,000);
- communication fraud (over $ 300);
- fraud using personal data (more than $ 100,000 or more than 30 victims);
- abuse of personal data;
- unauthorized access to a computer or electronic device (by collusion to commit fraudulent activities).
“He's a 17-year-old who just graduated from high school, but make no mistake, he's not your average seventeen at all. It was an extremely complex attack on an unprecedented scale.
The fact that he only managed to get $ 100,000 per day is due to the fact that he was caught pretty quickly. But remember that it's not just about money, (this hack) could destabilize financial markets, both in America and around the world, because (the hacker) got access to the accounts of the most influential politicians. He could hurt American politics and international diplomacy.
This is not a game, these are serious crimes with serious consequences. If you think you can fool people online and get away with this one, you will be bitterly disappointed. A bitter disappointment that will overtake you at 6 am when federal agents knock on your door, ”said Hillsborough Attorney Andrew Warren.
Interestingly, Clacre will now be tried as an adult, as the case takes place in Tampa, where he lives. Florida laws allow for the prosecution and trial of minors as adults for financial fraud.
Let me remind you that in mid-July, Twitter faced the largest attack ever. Many accounts of public people, companies, and cryptocurrency exchanges have been compromised. So, among the victims were: Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Warren Buffett, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Apple and Uber, the largest cryptocurrency exchanges CoinDesk, Binance and Gemini.
The attackers used the gained access to the top accounts by arranging a fake distribution of bitcoins. The scammers acted according to the classic scam scheme: on behalf of famous people and large companies, they asked to send them a small amount of cryptocurrency, promising to double and return any amount received.
Paradoxically, even in 2020 there were many people who believed that Bill Gates, Elon Musk and other well-known companies and personalities suddenly began distributing bitcoins. As a result, the scammers thus "earned" about 13 BTC, that is, about 120 thousand dollars.
Twitter reports that, according to preliminary results of the investigation, the attack was the result of the compromise of several employees of the company at once and affected a relatively small number of recorded records. The hack affected only 130 accounts, and 45 of them were successfully reset passwords – on behalf of these accounts, the attackers posted fraudulent messages.
For seven more accounts, the attackers downloaded all available account content using the Your Twitter Data function. Interestingly, none of these seven accounts were verified (had no blue checkmark). The attackers also separately viewed the private messages of the owners of the 36 compromised accounts. Moreover, one of these accounts belonged to an unnamed Dutch politician.
Photo: Alex Castro