Three people arrested for massive Twitter hack

Photo via Al Jazeera

Washington, D.C, United States — Three people have been arrested for a massive Twitter hack.

On Friday, the three people were charged on for their alleged involvement in the massive Twitter hack that happened earlier this month, hacking the accounts of prominent users like Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Elon Musk to use for the promotion of a bitcoin scam.

A statement from United States Attorney David Anderson stated that the individuals are Mason Sheppard, a 19-year-old from the United Kingdom who went by the moniker “Chaewon” online, Nima Fazeli, a 22-year-old from Florida, who went by the alias “Rolex,” and a minor as well.

The minor is a 17-year-old boy named Graham Ivan Clark. According to a statement by Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren, Clark was the “mastermind” of the plan. Clark was arrested as well on Friday morning in Tampa after an investigation conducted by federal and state investigators.

Warren said that his office will be handling the prosecution since the Florida law allows greater flexibility than federal law to charge a minor as an adult in a case like this.

“There is a false belief within the criminal hacker community that attacks like the Twitter hack can be perpetrated anonymously and without consequence,” Anderson said in a statement.

“Today’s charging announcement demonstrates that the elation of nefarious hacking into a secure environment for fun or profit will be short-lived.”

The FBI disclosed that two of the three people charged in the attack had been taken into custody.

“Today’s arrests represent just the first step for law enforcement,” said FBI San Francisco Assistant Special Agent in Charge Sanjay Virmani. “Our investigation will continue to identify anyone else who may have been involved in these crimes.”

In the Twitter hack earlier this month, the compromised VIP accounts posted similar tweets soliciting donations via bitcoin to their verified profiles.

Several people had responded to the hack and there were approximately 415 transfers into the suspect bitcoin address worth $117,457.58, per a federal indictment.

The law enforcement source told CNN that the investigators believe that rather than an intelligence effort by a foreign government, it was a bitcoin theft and the sale of access to the accounts was the motive behind the intrusions.