3 CHARGED IN MAS­SIVE TWIT­TER HACK

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY DAVID FIS­CHER

MI­AMI — A Bri­tish man, a Florida man and a Florida teen were iden­ti­fied by au­thor­i­ties Fri­day as the hack­ers who last month took over Twit­ter ac­counts of prom­i­nent politi­cians, celebri­ties and tech­nol­ogy moguls to scam peo­ple around the globe out of more than $100,000 in Bit­coin.

Gra­ham Ivan Clark, 17, was ar­rested Fri­day in Tampa, where the Hills­bor­ough state at­tor­ney’s of­fice will pros­e­cute him as adult. He faces 30 felony charges. Ma­son Shep­pard, 19, of Bog­nor Regis, U.K., and Nima Fazeli, 22, of Or­lando, were charged in Cal­i­for­nia fed­eral court.

Hack­ers sent out bo­gus tweets on July 15 from the ac­counts of Barack Obama, Joe Bi­den, Mike Bloomberg and a num­ber of tech bil­lion­aires and celebri­ties.

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

Se­cu­rity ex­perts were not sur­prised that the al­leged mas­ter­mind of the hack is a 17-year-old, given the rel­a­tive ama­teur na­ture both of the op­er­a­tion and the hack­ers’ will­ing­ness af­ter­ward to dis­cuss the hack with re­porters on­line.

“There wasn’t a ton of devel­op­ment that went into this at­tack,” said Jake Wil­liams, founder of the cy­ber­se­cu­rity firm Ren­di­tion In­fosec.

He said he was con­flicted about whether Clark should be charged as an adult. “He def­i­nitely de­serves to pay (for jump­ing on the op­por­tu­nity) but po­ten­tially serv­ing decades in prison doesn’t seem like jus­tice in this case,” Wil­liams said.

Twit­ter pre­vi­ously said hack­ers used the phone to fool the so­cial me­dia com­pany’s em­ploy­ees into giv­ing them ac­cess. It said hack­ers tar­geted “a small num­ber of em­ploy­ees through a phone spear-phish­ing at­tack.”

Gra­ham Ivan Clark

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