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US teen among 3 charged for Twitter account hack

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Three people, including two Americans, were behind the recent hacking of Twitter accounts of prominent people.

Twitter users were scammed of more than $100,000 in Bitcoins through the hacking.

  

 Graham Ivan Clark, 17, Mason Sheppard, 19 and Nima Fazeli, 22 were charged for the incident.

Clark is a resident of Tampa in Florida while Sheppard is a UK national. Fazeli is from Orlando in the US.

The other two were charged in a California federal court while Clark was charged in Florida court.

What was the Twitter hacking about

Hackers hacked into prominent Twitter accounts and sent out bogus tweets on July 15.  

The accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, tech billionaires like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk were among those that were hacked. 

Twitter accounts of several celebrities like Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian West were also hacked.

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The tweets offered to send $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to an anonymous Bitcoin address.

US Attorney David L Anderson of the Northern District of California was quoted by the media as saying that there is a false belief within the criminal hacker community that attacks like this can be perpetrated anonymously and without consequence.

“Today’s charging announcement demonstrates that it will be short-lived elation,” agencies quoted Anderson as saying.

How was the hacking done

Twitter earlier said hackers used phone calls to fool its employees into giving them access. 

It said the hackers targeted a few employees through a phone spear-phishing attack.

After stealing employee credentials, they got access to Twitter’s systems.

Using this, they targeted other employees who had access to account support tools, the company said.

The hackers targeted 130 accounts and managed to tweet from 45 accounts.

They accessed direct message inboxes of 36 and downloaded the Twitter data from seven. 

Spear-phishing refers to the use of email or other electronic communications to impersonate someone and deceive victims into handing over sensitive information.

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