The British teenager accused of hacking Twitter and stealing thousands of dollars in Bitcoin was today described as “a nice boy” whose father died about five years ago.
The US Department of Justice has charged Mason Sheppard, 19, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and intentional access to a protected computer.
He was one of three people linked to the hack earlier this month who 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 would be matched.
Neighbors at the family’s terraced house in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, have since said her mother Lorraine had raised Mr Sheppard on her own since the death of her husband Mark.
The British teenager accused of hacking Twitter and stealing thousands of dollars in Bitcoin has today been described as ‘a nice boy’ whose father died about five years ago (stock image)
A woman in her sixties, who lives on the same road but wished to remain anonymous, said: “I know Lorraine and she is lovely. I haven’t seen Mason in years, but he’s always been a very nice boy.
“His father Mark died a few years ago – about five or six years I think.
“It’s a real shock. No one here saw any police activity or anything.
A middle-aged woman was in the three-bedroom £ 250,000 homestead earlier today but declined to comment on the Twitter inquiry.
She said: “I have absolutely nothing to say. Please leave us alone.
Former US President Barack Obama, the most followed account on Twitter, was among the high profile targets used to lead the Bitcoin scam.
American teenager Graham Ivan Clark, 17, was arrested Friday morning in Tampa
Sheppard, also known as “Chaewon”, 19, was indicted yesterday in connection with a criminal complaint in the Northern District of California.
The charges were of conspiracy to commit electronic fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and intentional access to a protected 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 not be identified, the Justice Department said.
Scam saw more than $ 100,000 stolen, Justice Department says, along with charges punishable by 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. “
He continued, “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) previously 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.
‘[The] The charge ad demonstrates that the exhilaration 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 offenders, break the law and we’ll find you.
The criminal complaint says the Twitter attack 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 bitcoins in response to the scam solicitations. “