Florida teen, two others charged in Twitter 'Bit-Con' hacking attack

Twitter says hackers broke into its systems by calling employees on their phones

Graham Clark has reportedly been charged with 30 felonies of communications and organized fraud for scamming hundreds of people using compromised accounts.

Warren said the suspect would be prosecuted in Florida's Hillsborough County because the defendant "committed the crime here".

The 19-year-old Mason Sheppard (aka "Chaewon") of the United Kingdom was charged in a criminal complaint in the Northern District of California with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and the intentional access of a protected computer. "I've spoken to him every day", she said.

US Attorney David L Anderson said the arrests proved "nefarious hacking. for fun or profit" did not pay off.

Interestingly, the teenager is charged as an adult, and the state attorney says, "This was not an ordinary 17-year old".

The criminal complaint said the attack saw around 130 accounts belonging to politicians, celebrities and musicians compromised.

The Bitcoin account linked in the fake tweets received almost 12.9 bitcoins, equivalent to over $114,000 (€100,00). In its most recent update on the hack, on July 30, the company acknowledged that employees were duped into sharing sensitive information over the phone and that it has made a decision to temporarily limit access to its internal tools as it seeks to understand the scope of the breach, while improving its security protocols to "make them even more sophisticated". "These partners worked extremely quickly to investigate and identify the perpetrators of this sophisticated and extensive fraud", State Attorney Warren said in a video news conference from today.

The charges have been related to the July 15 incident when some of the big accounts including Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Kanye West among others were hacked to promote a Bitcoin giveaway scam.

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The hackers used "social engineering" and "targeted a small number of employees through a phone spear phishing attack", the update explained.

"These crimes were perpetrated using the names of famous people and celebrities, but they're not the primary victims here", Warren said in a release.

U.S. officials said 19-year-old Mason "Chaewon" Sheppard of Britain along with Nima Fazeli, 22, of Florida face criminal charges in the case.

Twitter said that since the attack, it has significantly limited access to its internal tools and systems to ensure ongoing account security.

"This "Bit-Con" was created to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country, including here in Florida".

'We know that they accessed tools only available to our internal support teams to target 130 Twitter accounts, ' said a statement posted on Twitter's blog.

Mr Williams also said he was conflicted about whether Mr Clark should be charged as an adult.

One of the people interviewed by The Times used the alias "Ever So Anxious", and said he was a 19-year from the U.K. In my follow-up story on July 22, it emerged that Ever So Anxious was in fact Chaewon.

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