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Two teenagers accused of attacking personalities on Twitter accounts

by Ace Damon

JN / Agencies

Today at 01:35

Two teenagers and an adult were identified as the pirates who seized the Twitter accounts of politicians, celebrities and businessmen in the technology sector for a fraud that earned them $ 100,000.

Graham Ivan Clark, 17, was arrested today in Tampa, USA, where the attorney will charge him as an adult. According to a statement from the state attorney’s office in Hillsborough, Andrew Warren, Clark faces 30 charges.

The other defendants, Briton Mason Sheppard, aged 19, and Nima Fazeli, aged 22, from Orlando, will be tried in federal court in the state of California.

In what was one of the most important security breaches in recent years, pirates sent fake messages via Twitter on July 15 from the accounts of people like Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, among others.

The messages promised $ 2,000 to anyone who sent $ 1,000 to an anonymous bitcoin cryptocurrency address.

“There is a false belief within the hacker community that attacks like this on Twitter can be made anonymously and without consequences,” David L. Anderson, federal district attorney for Northern California, said in a statement.

Although the case against the teenager is also being investigated by the federal police (FBI) and the Department of Justice, Warren explained that his office will prosecute Clark in a Florida state court because the laws here allow him to prosecute adolescents as adults in cases of financial fraud like this. He added that Clark was the leader of the scam.

“I think this is a great case study that shows how technology democratizes the ability to do serious criminal acts,” said Jake Williams, founder of computer security firm Rendition Infosec.

The pirates attacked 130 accounts and managed to send messages from 45, access the mailbox of 36 and download information from seven.

Fazeli’s father, Mohamad, said he was “100% sure” of his son’s innocence: “He is a very good person, very honest, very intelligent and loyal”.


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