Florida Teen Arrested For Twitter Bitcoin Hack
By Bill Galluccio
July 31, 2020
A 17-year-old from Tampa, Florida, has been arrested for allegedly being the "mastermind" behind a recent Twitter Bitcoin hack. Graham Ivan Clark is facing 30 felony charges for allegedly hacking the accounts of numerous prominent individuals, including Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Barack Obama, and Kanye West. He also targeted several brands, such as Apple and Uber.
The teen tweeted out a link to a Bitcoin wallet, asking people to send money with the promise of sending them back double the amount.
"I am giving back to the community. All Bitcoin sent to the address below will be sent back doubled! If you send $1,000, I will send back $2,000. Only doing this for 30 minutes ... Enjoy!" he tweeted from the account of Joe Biden.
In addition to making the fraudulent posts, he allegedly sold access to the accounts. Authorities said he managed to make over $100,000 in Bitcoin in just one day.
Prosecutors said Clark managed to gain access to Twitter's internal controls by using spear-phishing attacks against Twitter employees. Spear-phishing is a targeted attack against specific people with the intention of stealing their log-in credentials. The attacker usually poses as a trustworthy source, such as a co-worker or vendor they may work with. The attack can involve sending attachments that contain spyware or other malicious software.
Clark will be tried in Florida, which gives authorities more leeway to try him as an adult. He has been charged with 17 counts of felony communications fraud, ten counts of identity theft, one count of organized fraud over $50,000, one count of aggravated identity theft, and one count for hacking and unlawful access to a computer in furtherance of a scheme to defraud.
"I want to congratulate our federal law enforcement partners—the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California, the FBI, the IRS, and the Secret Service—as well as the Florida Department of Law enforcement. They worked quickly to investigate and identify the perpetrator of a sophisticated and extensive fraud," Florida State Attorney Andrew Warren said.
Photo: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office