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17-year-old arrested, accused of being Twitter hack ‘mastermind’

Three suspects were arrested and have been charged Friday for the “Bit-Con” hack of high-profile Twitter accounts that occurred July 15, according to U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of California.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirms 17-year-old Graham Ivan Clark was arrested in Tampa Friday for the high-profile hack.

According to the FDLE Facebook post, the young “mastermind” is accused of taking control of several accounts belonging to notable people, including former President Barack Obama, Elon Musk and Bill Gates, and used the accounts to spread a Bitcoin scam.

Clark faces dozens of felony charges related to the hack.

U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of California confirms two other suspects were arrested for the “Bit-Con” hack.

According to the court, suspect Mason Sheppard, aka “Chaewon,” 19, of Bognor Regis, in 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.

Suspect Nima Fazeli, aka “Rolex,” 22, of Orlando, Florida, was also charged in a criminal complaint in the Northern District of California with aiding and abetting the intentional access of a protected computer.

“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,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The rapid investigation of this conduct is a testament to the expertise of our investigators, our commitment to responding quickly to cyber attacks, and the close relationships we have built with law enforcement partners throughout the world.”

According to the court, as alleged in the complaints, the Twitter attack consisted of a combination of technical breaches and social engineering. The result of the Twitter hack was the compromise of approximately 130 Twitter accounts pertaining to politicians, celebrities and musicians.

The hackers are accused of creating a scam Bitcoin account, to have hacked into Twitter VIP accounts, to have sent solicitations from the Twitter VIP accounts with a false promise to double any Bitcoin deposits made to the scam account, and then to have stolen the Bitcoin that victims deposited into the scam account. Claims in complaints show the scam Bitcoin account received more than 400 transfers worth more than $100,000.

FDLE says the investigation involved partnership between several local, state and federal agencies, including the FBI, IRS, U.S. Secret Service the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Middle District of Florida and for Northern California, and the State Attorney’s Office 13th Judicial Circuit, which will prosecute the case.

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