The mastermind behind a large-scale Twitter hack to promote a bitcoin giveaway scam has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to three years in prison. During the hack, a number of high-profile companies, politicians, and celebrities saw their accounts taken over to promote the cryptocurrency scam.
- Graham Ivan Clark, the Florida teen who hacked prominent Twitter accounts to promote a bitcoin giveaway scam in July last year, reportedly pleaded guilty on Tuesday to all state charges against him in exchange for a three-year sentence in a juvenile facility. He also agreed to three years of probation after his sentence, the Office of the State Attorney 13th Judicial Circuit in Tampa announced.
- Clark, now 18 years old, and his accomplices took control of popular Twitter accounts belonging to corporations, politicians, and celebrities. They included the accounts of U.S. President Joe Biden, former U.S. President Barack Obama, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Tesla Technoking Elon Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple, Google, and Uber.
- A number of prominent accounts in the crypto space were also hacked. They included the accounts of Binance, its CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ), Bitcoin, Bitfinex, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, Coinbase, Gemini, Tron founder Justin Sun, Kucoin, Ripple, the Tron Foundation, and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin.
- The hacker then used those accounts to promote a bitcoin giveaway scam, posting a link to a bitcoin address and claiming that anyone sending bitcoin to the address will receive twice as much back. The bitcoin address linked to the scam received a total of 12.90 bitcoins, which was worth more than $100K around the time of the attack.
- According to Twitter, 130 user accounts were compromised overall during the hack. Of those, 45 accounts were used to send tweets. The company further said that for up to 36 of the 130 targeted accounts, the hackers also accessed DM inboxes.
- Clark was charged with 30 felony counts including one count of organized fraud, 17 counts of communications fraud, one count of fraudulent use of personal information with more than $100,000 or 30 or more victims, 10 counts of fraudulent use of personal information, and one count of access to computer or electronic device without authority.
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