Police in Spain arrested a British man on Wednesday on US charges, accusing him of hacking the Twitter accounts of several prominent Americans a year ago.
The Justice Department said Joseph O’Connor, 22, was arrested in Estepona, Spain, after US authorities accused him of hacking more than 130 Twitter accounts. He was also accused of infiltrating TikTok and Snapchat accounts and cyberstalking a teenager.
Last July the Twitter attack targeted the accounts of then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, former President Barack Obama and other prominent figures in business and politics, as well as some celebrities including Kim Kardashian. Once the fake messages were detected, Twitter shut down the accounts, as well as the accounts of all other verified users, for several hours.
Messages on the hacked accounts said, “I am giving back to the community,” and urged followers to send bitcoins to a specified address. Estimates at the time said over $100,000 The reply was sent.
Previously, scammers used the names and profile pictures of people like Musk to entice people to send them cryptocurrency. But in this case all the accounts were genuine and belonged to the targeted people.
O’Connor now faces multiple federal charges, and the US will seek his extradition.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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