Florida teen pleads not guilty to masterminding Twitter hack

Yolanda Curtis
August 6, 2020

Following the arrest of Graham Ivan Clark, the 17-year old Florida teen who allegedly masterminded the Twitter hack last month, recent investigation has revealed that the accused has more than $3 million worth of Bitcoin assets.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that Clark's bail was set at $725,000-roughly "six times" of what the teen was accused of stealing via an elaborate scheme involving allegedly manipulating Twitter staff and taking control of the accounts of some prominent figures, which resulted in the suspect reportedly raking in $117,000 worth of BTC.

Mason Sheppard, 19 and Nima Fazeli, 22 are also among the three individuals charged over the Twitter hack, according to US Department of Justice. Sheppard faces charges of computer intrusion, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money, which collectively are punishable by up to 45 years in prison and a $750,000 fine. The Twitter hack compromised 130 high-profile user accounts such as Joe Biden, Barak Obama, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Apple, and Uber, to promote a fraudulent advance-fee bitcoin deal. They were able to dupe Twitters users of nearly $117,000 in about three hours of the hack.

Hackers who accessed dozens of high-profile Twitter accounts gained access to the system with an attack that tricked a handful of employees into giving up their credentials, according to a company update. Meanwhile, Fazeli will be charged with aiding and abetting the intentional access of a protected computer.

Clark's attorney, David Weisbrod, had a different view on the legitimacy of the BTC, claiming that the court in a separate case earlier retuned the 300 BTC to Clark after seizing $15,000 in cash and over 400 BTC. Regardless of how long it takes us to identify hackers, we will follow the evidence to where it leads us and ultimately hold those responsible for cyber intrusions accountable for their actions. Thomas Edwards, Special Agent in Charge, US Secret Service, San Francisco Field Office announced that cybercriminals can no longer hide behind perceived global anonymity.

Investigators viewed the 17-year-old as the mastermind behind the mid-July cyberattack that rocked Twitter. Moreover, Twitter also shed some light on the alleged plans of the attack. Apparently, their credentials were then used to hack the internal system. "All Bitcoin sent to the address below will be sent back doubled!"

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