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Three charged in celebrity Twitter hack

by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 7/31/20, 05:55 pm

Prosecutors say a 17-year-old from Florida posted fake tweets to celebrity accounts on July 15 as part of a scam that netted more than $100,000 in bitcoins. Florida prosecutors on Friday charged Graham Ivan Clark as an adult with 30 felonies. The same day, a federal court in California charged suspected co-conspirators Mason Sheppard, 19, of the U.K. and Nima Fazeli, 22, of Florida with several felonies.

How did they make money from the scam? Authorities accuse Clark, Sheppard, and Fazeli of sneaking into Twitter’s systems and tweeting from 45 accounts belonging to famous people such as Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, and Kanye West. They offered to pay $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to a Bitcoin link. Analysts believe the men tricked a Twitter employee into providing access to the accounts.

Dig deeper: Read my report in The Stew on the congressional questioning this week of Big Tech CEOs.

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Kyle Ziemnick

Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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