Man arrested for 2020 Bitcoin-doubling scam that hit Apple's Twitter account

Posted:
in General Discussion
A 22-year-old UK citizen has been arrested in connection with a 2020 hack that promised a doubling of Bitcoin promised through high-profile Twitter accounts, including Apple's.

A screenshot of the Twitter hack affecting Apple's account.
A screenshot of the Twitter hack affecting Apple's account.


The Department of Justice said that Joseph O'Connor was arrested by Spanish authorities on Wednesday in Estepona, Spain. U.S. officials had sent a request for his arrest, as O'Connor is being charged by a criminal complaint filed in a U.S. federal court in California.

O'Connor is being charged with multiple charges, including three counts of conspiracy to intentionally access a computer without authorization and obtaining information from a protected computer and two counts of intentionally accessing a computer without authorization and obtaining information from a protected computer.

The hack occurred on July 15, 2020, and affected more than 130 Twitter accounts belonging to companies, celebrities, and politicians. As part of the scam, the attackers posted messages on those accounts asking followers to send Bitcoin to a specific cryptocurrency wallet under the pretense that double the amount would be sent back.

In addition to being charged with counts related to the Twitter hack, O'Connor is also being charged with intrusions related to takeovers of Snapchat and TikTok accounts, as well as cyberstalking a juvenile.

The FBI San Francisco Division is investigating the case, along with the IRS Criminal Investigation Cyber Unit, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

Multiple people have already been arrested in connection to the cyber attack, including a 16-year-old from Massachusetts and a 17-year-old from Florida.

Bitcoin ledgers indicated that people responding to the scam sent a total of 12 Bitcoin, worth about $140,000 at the time. The attackers also accessed the private direct message inboxes of up to 36 high-profile accounts.

In March, one of the teenagers arrested in the scam agreed to three years in prison in a plea deal.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    XedXed Posts: 961member
    I can't even begin to comprehend how there is actually an intersection between people are smart enough to source bitcoin and those who are dumb enough to fall for such an obvious scam.
    ronnbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 2 of 4
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 786member
    Sourcing bitcoin doesn't take any particular smarts- there are plenty of guides and even a Bitcoin for dummies book.

    Not falling for scams takes a certain amount of street smarts, and there are an awful lot of gullible people out there. Some would argue (reasonably well) that crypto itself is a scam/pyramid scheme: there is nothing and no agency backing it.
    Dogpersonronn
  • Reply 3 of 4
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,036member
    So if I’m understanding this right, a 22yo 17yo and a 16yo we’re able to hack high profile Twitter accounts of companies like Apple?

    I don’t know if I’m impressed or disappointed!
  • Reply 4 of 4
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,178member

    Bitcoin ledgers indicated that people responding to the scam sent a total of 12 Bitcoin, worth about $140,000 at the time. 
    Good job I'm not a judge, I'd have given the guys a slap on the back for helping to identify society's most hapless idiots.  How do these fools even dress themselves in the morning?
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