A 22-year-old UK citizen has been arrested in connection with a 2020 hack that promised to duplicate the promised Bitcoin via high-profile Twitter accounts, including Apple’s.
The Justice Department said that Joseph O’Connor was arrested by Spanish authorities on Wednesday in Estepona, Spain. US officials had submitted a request for his arrest, as O’Connor is being indicted for a criminal complaint filed in US federal court in California.
O’Connor is being charged with multiple counts, including three counts of conspiracy to intentionally access a computer without authorization and obtain information from a protected computer and two counts of intentionally accessing a computer without authorization and obtaining information from a protected computer.
The hack occurred on July 15, 2020 and affected more than 130 Twitter accounts belonging to companies, celebrities and politicians. As part of the scam, the attackers posted messages on those accounts asking followers to send Bitcoin to a specific cryptocurrency wallet on the pretext that double the amount would be returned.
In addition to being charged with charges related to the Twitter hack, O’Connor is also being charged with intrusions related to acquisitions of Snapchat and TikTok accounts, as well as cyberbullying of a minor.
The FBI’s San Francisco Division is investigating the case, along with the IRS’s Cyber Criminal Investigation Unit, the United States Secret Service and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.
Several people have already been arrested in connection with the cyber attack, including a 16-year-old from Massachusetts and a 17-year-old from Florida.
Bitcoin ledgers indicated that the people responding to the scam sent a total of 12 Bitcoin, worth around $ 140,000 at the time. The attackers also accessed the private direct message inboxes of up to 36 high-profile accounts.