Twitter Celebrity Hack Suspect Arrested

A British man has been arrested in Spain on suspicion of hacking some 130 celebrities' Twitter accounts in July last year. Joseph O'Connor was arrested in the coastal resort town of Estepona on an international warrant, the US Department of Justice has disclosed.

O'Connor has been charged in the United States for alleged involvement in a widespread Twitter hack that compromised the accounts of a number of prominent US politicians, celebrities and tech moguls including those of Elon Musk, Barack Obama and Kanye West.

The compromised accounts were was used to send messages to followers, encouraging them to join a Bitcoin scam. 

Also charged with hacking TikTok and Snapchat, O'Connor faces charges including three counts of conspiracy to intentionally access a computer without authorisation and obtaining information from a protected computer. The San Francisco Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been investigating the case, helped by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Cyber Crimes Unit and the United States Secret Service.

A criminal complaint filed in federal court in the Northern District of California does not identify the popular TikTok personality whose account was compromised, but the date in the charging document matches up with the date that Addison Rae, who has about 82 million followers, revealed that she had been hacked. 

Hackers took control of public figures' accounts and sent a series of tweets asking followers to transfer crypto currency to a specific Bitcoin wallet to receive double the money in return. As a result, Twitter had to stop all verified accounts from tweeting. The social-media company later said the hackers had targeted Twitter employees to steal credentials to access the systems.

Reuters:      Sophos:        Euronews:        WSJ:      DailyBeast:    BBC:

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