three younger hackers charged with compromising 130 prime Twitter customers

San Francisco, August 1

The US Department of Justice has charged three younger people (together with one juvenile) with hacking Twitter final month that compromised the accounts of 130 high-profile celebrities, politicians and companies like Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Apple and Uber.

The 19-year-old Mason Sheppard (aka “Chaewon”) of the UK was charged in a prison grievance within the Northern District of California with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit cash laundering, and the intentional entry of a protected pc.

“Nima Fazeli, aka “Rolex,” 22, of Orlando, Florida, was charged in a criminal complaint in the Northern District of California with aiding and abetting the intentional access of a protected computer,” the Department of Justice mentioned in an announcement on Friday.

The third defendant is a juvenile.

“With exceptions that do not apply to this case, juvenile proceedings in federal court are sealed to protect the identity of the juvenile,” mentioned the assertion.

Twitter has revealed that the huge hack that unfold a cryptocurrency rip-off by hijacking accounts of high-profile celebrities, politicians and companies was a results of a cellphone spear phishing assault.

The attackers focused 130 Twitter accounts, in the end tweeting from 45, accessing the DM (Direct Messages) inbox of 36, and downloading the Twitter information of seven accounts.

The incident raised considerations round Twitter instruments and ranges of worker entry.

“The hackers allegedly compromised over 100 social media accounts and scammed both the account users and others who sent money based on their fraudulent solicitations,” mentioned Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

As alleged within the complaints, the Twitter assault consisted of a mix of technical breaches and social engineering.

“There is a false belief within the criminal hacker community that attacks like the Twitter hack can be perpetrated anonymously and without consequence,” mentioned US Attorney David L. Anderson for the Northern District of California.

The hackers are alleged to have created a rip-off Bitcoin account, to have hacked into Twitter VIP accounts, to have despatched solicitations from the Twitter VIP accounts with a false promise to double any Bitcoin deposits made to the rip-off account, after which to have stolen the Bitcoin that victims deposited into the rip-off account.

As alleged within the complaints, the rip-off Bitcoin account obtained greater than 400 transfers price greater than $100,000.

“Today’s announcement proves that cybercriminals can no longer hide behind perceived global anonymity,” mentioned Thomas Edwards, Special Agent in Charge, US Secret Service, San Francisco Field Office.

Twitter mentioned that for the reason that assault, it has considerably restricted entry to its inner instruments and methods to make sure ongoing account safety.

As a consequence, some options — particularly, accessing the Your Twitter Data obtain function — and processes have been impacted.

Twitter mentioned it is going to be slower to answer account help wants, reported tweets, and functions to its developer platform.


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