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The United States Justice Department has continued pursuing those responsible for a 2020 Twitter hack that saw the accounts of high-profile companies and individuals hacked as part of a Bitcoin scam.

apple_bitcoin_hack.jpg

Several people have already been arrested and charged for the attack, and the DoJ today announced (via The Verge) that 22-year-old Joseph O'Connor, aka "PlugWalkJoe," has also been arrested.

A UK citizen, O'Connor was apprehended by the Spanish National Police in Spain, and he has been charged with multiple crimes related to the hack as well as crimes related to cyberstalking and takeovers of TikTok and Snapchat accounts. If convicted, a federal district court judge will determine sentencing based on U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

O'Connor's role in the Twitter attack was previously highlighted by Krebs on Security, and in a 2020 interview with The New York Times, O'Connor claimed that he was not involved in the hack. "They can come arrest me," he said. "I would laugh at them. I haven't done anything."

Graham Ivan Clark, an 18-year-old considered to be the "mastermind" of the attack, was sentenced to three years in prison earlier this year. Mason "Chaewon" Sheppard from the UK and Nima "Rolex" Fazeli have also been charged in the attack and are facing prison time.

In the 2020 attack, hackers targeted Twitter employees in a "phone spear phishing attack," tricking them into thinking they were speaking to other Twitter employees. Using these methods, the hackers were able to gain access to Twitter's internal tools and were able to illicitly access Twitter accounts.

The parties involved hacked into accounts belonging to Apple, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and more. Tweets were sent out from these accounts soliciting Bitcoin, and scammers received more than $100,000.

Article Link: 22-Year-Old UK Citizen Arrested for 2020 Twitter Hack Affecting Apple
 
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mrat93

macrumors 68000
Dec 30, 2006
1,626
465
My hometown has an issue of people leaving their key fobs in their expensive cars in their driveways, and then having their cars stolen.

It sucks that rich people — or in this case, Twitter — can be grossly negligent in protecting their assets, and then become the victim when somebody inevitably takes the bait.
 

Hc9019

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2017
33
47
Interesting that he was arrested in Spain, possibly while on holiday, and will be extradited to the U.S. where punishment if convicted will be extremely severe. If guilty, he obviously deserves to be punished, but I do think the U.S. is far too harsh on these types of crimes.
 

saudor

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2011
1,000
953
This is internet terrorism. Folk like this need to be doing time, for a long time, preferably in a supermax penitentiary in the USA.
Yeah the punishments needs to be super severe. Otherwise it sends a message that it's "worth a shot" and invites more of this stuff to happen. Same with the stupid people sending money - both encourage scams like this to continue happening.

We have things like driver's licenses - what about one for using the internet lol
 

Hc9019

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2017
33
47
Yeah the punishments needs to be super severe. Otherwise it sends a message that it's "worth a shot" and invites more of this stuff to happen. Same with the stupid people sending money - both encourage scams like this to continue happening.

We have things like driver's licenses - what about one for using the internet lol

Disagree. Sentencing should be proportionate to the crime. The fact that some people receive similar sentences for hacking as they would for murder is just ridiculous. America is a strange place.
 

Doshun

macrumors newbie
Jun 13, 2021
8
-5
Making Illegal transactions with Bitcoin is always a dumb idea. Look at the silk road history. If coins are not getting coinmixed immediately after receiving them, you probably can get easily caught by the secret service.

I don‘t know who was dumber... the scammer or the victims of this obvious scam. :D
 

JMacHack

macrumors 6502a
Mar 16, 2017
948
1,078
Disagree. Sentencing should be proportionate to the crime. The fact that some people receive similar sentences for hacking as they would for murder is just ridiculous. America is a strange place.
That’s ridiculous, we don’t give the same sentences for hacking as murder!
We’re far more lenient on murder.
 
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dogslobber

macrumors 601
Oct 19, 2014
4,438
7,439
Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
Disagree. Sentencing should be proportionate to the crime. The fact that some people receive similar sentences for hacking as they would for murder is just ridiculous. America is a strange place.
Hacking is not a victimless crime. Ransomware are the biggest terrorists of all and I hope the US catches them and gives them the chair. Hackers should live in fear that they’ll be caught and extradited to America.
 

matrix07

macrumors 604
Jun 24, 2010
6,853
3,490
Disagree. Sentencing should be proportionate to the crime. The fact that some people receive similar sentences for hacking as they would for murder is just ridiculous. America is a strange place.
I agree with this but I also think that in the West the sentence of murderers in many occasions can be too lenient.
 
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