Joseph O’Connor — a British man who allegedly aided in hacking the Twitter accounts of Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Kim Kardashian, Jeff Bezos, Kanye West, and dozens of others in 2020 — was arrested in Spain on Wednesday.
The accused man, Joseph O’Connor, was busted in Estepona by Spanish National Police at the request of U.S. authorities, who now will seek his extradition.
O”Connor, 22, is charged in a criminal complaint in California federal court with counts related to the illegal compromise of more than 130 Twitter accounts in the hack on July 15, 2020.
Three other people previously had been charged in connection with the hack, including a then-17-year-old in Florida who was the alleged “mastermind” of the attack. A prosecutor said last year that the scam netted more than $100,000 worth of bitcoin.
As The Daily Wire reported in July 2020, many of the accounts requested that users send bitcoin with the promise of a significant return. For example, Kanye West’s account tweeted: “I am giving back to my community due to COVID-19. All bitcoin sent to my address below will be sent back doubled.”
A spokesperson for Joe Biden — who was then campaigning for the presidency — explained: “Twitter locked down the account immediately following the breach and removed the related tweet. We remain in touch with Twitter on the matter.”
The corporate accounts for companies such as Uber and Apple were also hacked.
Twitter stated that they were “aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter,” and said that some people may not be able to use the platform while they “review and address this incident.”
At the time, lawmakers castigated Twitter for the security breach.
“I am concerned that this event may represent not merely a coordinated set of separate hacking incidents but rather a successful attack on the security of Twitter itself,” said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO). “As you know, millions of your users rely on your service not just to tweet publicly but also to communicate privately through your direct message service. A successful attack on your system’s servers represents a threat to all of your users’ privacy and data security.”
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