A British teenager has been accused of hacking into social media site Twitter and stealing thousands of dollars in Bitcoin by taking over the accounts of celebrities and business leaders.
The US Department of Justice has charged Mason Sheppard, 19, of Bognor Regis, with conspiracy to commit electronic fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and intentional access to a secure computer.
Mr Sheppard was one of three people accused of the hack, which took place earlier this month and saw accounts belonging to Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Barack Obama hijacked and used to post links to Bitcoin wallets as well as false claims that payments are matched.
(File photo) UK teenager accused of hacking social media site Twitter and stealing thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin by taking over celebrity and business owner accounts
Former US President Barack Obama, the most followed account on Twitter, was among the high profile targets used to lead the Bitcoin scam.
More than $ 100,000 was stolen as part of the scam, the DoJ said. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 45 years in prison.
US Attorney David L. Anderson said, “Criminal conduct on the Internet may seem stealthy to those who perpetuate it, but there is nothing stealthy about it. “
A teenager from Bognor Regis in West Sussex is one of three people charged with their alleged roles in the Twitter hack earlier this month which saw compromised politician and celebrity accounts, the US Department of Justice said. Justice.
Mason Sheppard, also known as “Chaewon”, 19, has been charged in connection with a criminal complaint in the Northern District of California for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit crime. money laundering and intentional access to a secure computer.
Nima Fazeli, also known as “Rolex”, 22, of Orlando, Florida, has been charged with aiding and abetting intentional access to a protected computer.
The third accused is a minor who will no longer be identified, the justice ministry said.
United States Attorney David L Anderson said: “There is a false belief within the criminal hacker community that attacks like the Twitter hack can be carried out anonymously and without consequence.
US Prosecutor David L Anderson (pictured in 2019) said: “There is a false belief within the criminal hacker community that attacks like the Twitter hack can be carried out anonymously and without consequence”
Twitter Says Hackers ‘Manipulated’ Employees to Access 130 Accounts
Twitter said last week that hackers “manipulated” some of its employees to gain access to accounts.
More than $ 100,000 in virtual currency was sent to the email addresses mentioned in the tweets, according to Blockchain.com, which monitors crypto transactions.
“We know they have accessed tools available only to our internal support teams to target 130 Twitter accounts,” a statement posted on the Twitter blog said.
For 45 of those accounts, hackers were able to reset passwords, log in and send tweets, he added, while the personal data of eight unverified users was uploaded.
Twitter has locked down the affected accounts and deleted the fraudulent tweets. He also closed accounts not affected by the hack as a precaution.
“Today’s charge announcement demonstrates that the excitement of malicious hacking in a secure environment for fun or profit will be short-lived.
“Criminal conduct on the Internet may seem stealthy to those who commit it, but it is not stealthy. In particular, I mean to potential violators, break the law and we will find you.
Criminal complaints indicate that the attack on Twitter consisted of a combination of technical flaws and social engineering.
“The result of the Twitter hack was the compromise of around 130 Twitter accounts belonging to politicians, celebrities and musicians,” he says.
“The hackers allegedly created a fraudulent bitcoin account, hacked Twitter VIP accounts, sent solicitations to Twitter VIP accounts with a false promise to double the bitcoin deposits made to the fraudulent account, then stole the bitcoin the victims deposited. on the fraudulent account.
As alleged in the complaints, the fraudulent Bitcoin account received over 400 transfers worth over US $ 100,000 (£ 76,000).
The defendants allegedly assaulted VIP Twitter users whose accounts were hacked. The defendants allegedly assaulted the people who sent bitcoin in response to the scam solicitations.