Three people have been arrested and charged in a massive Twitter breach earlier this month that affected dozens of high-profile users.
The suspects include a 19-year-old British man named Mason Sheppard, a 22- year-old man identified as Nima Fazeli, and a teenager from Tampa, Florida who authorities believe to have masterminded the cyber invasion.
Graham Ivan Clark, 17, was arrested in his Tampa apartment, where he lived by himself, early Friday, state officials said. He faces 30 felony charges in the hack, including fraud, and is being charged as an adult.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice were able to bring the hackers into custody in a matter of weeks, after conducting a nationwide investigation into the Twitter hack in which several prominent accounts, including those of Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Kanye West, were taken over on July 15 to promote a cryptocurrency scam.
The compromised accounts, which have tens of millions of followers, sent a series of tweets proposing a classic bitcoin scam: followers were told that if they transfer cryptocurrency to a specific bitcoin wallet, they would receive double the money in return.
The trio go by the hacker aliases ‘Kirki’. ‘Rolex’ and ‘Chaewon’ respectively, according to the DOJ.
A statement from Attorney David L. Anderson for the California District said “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.”
While Sanjay Virmani, FBI San Francisco Assistant Special Agent in Charge, said that “Today’s arrests represent just the first step for law enforcement.” He also noted that “Our investigation will continue to identify anyone else who may have been involved in these crimes.”
Photo Credit: Daily Mail