The alleged hacker behind the recent Twitter fiasco has allegedly been identified. 17-year-old Florida teenager Graham Clark has been arrested and is now facing up to 30 separate felony charges for potentially “scamming people across America.”
Graham Clark: The Man Behind the Mask?
The recent Twitter bitcoin hack that took place on July 15 is among one of the most well-known and prominent bitcoin-based scams to occur in the history of the space. Several high-ranking accounts – such as those belonging to former president Barack Obama, his vice president Joe Biden, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Microsoft exec Bill Gates – were overtaken by hijackers who thought they could use the accounts to garner bitcoin from unsuspecting followers.
While the amount stolen wasn’t particularly large – only about $121,000 in BTC was taken from users – the fact that the persons involved could gain access to such heavy accounts really scared the living daylights out of many people.
At the time of writing, Graham Clark is charged with organized fraud, 17 counts of communication fraud, and ten count of fraudulent use of personal information. He is also being charged with one count of accessing a computer or electronic device “without authority.”
In all, roughly 130 separate accounts were hijacked. These accounts saw the posting of several fraudulent messages containing anonymous bitcoin addresses and the advertisement that users should send their BTC to these addresses to have their stashes doubled. Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren described Clark’s alleged behavior in a recent 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. This massive fraud was orchestrated right here in our backyard, and we will not stand for that.
It is believed that Clark did not work alone. Two other people – a 19-year-old man named Mason Sheppard from the United Kingdom and a 22-year-old man named Nima Fazeli from Florida – were also charged with breaching the Twitter accounts. While the Department of Justice ultimately refused to name Clark for the press given that he is still a minor, Florida news sources were quick to reveal the culprit’s supposed identity.
Crypto Crime Is Being Watched For
A U.S. attorney explained the current situation:
There is a false belief within the criminal hacker community that attacks like the Twitter hack can be perpetrated anonymously and without consequence. Today’s charging announcement demonstrates that the elation of nefarious hacking into a secure environment for fun or profit will be short-lived. Criminal conduct over the internet may feel stealthy to the people who perpetrate it, but there is nothing stealthy about it. I want to say to would-be offenders that if you break the law, we’ll find you.