Behind Twitter’s privacy breach that made headlines in July that involved hacking the accounts of high-profile individuals: Joe Biden, Elon Musk, former President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and more, came an investigation that led to the arrests of three individuals.
17-year-old Graham Clark from Tampa, Florida is in custody, accused of being the mastermind of the Bitcoin scam via Twitter that occurred in mid-July. His co-conspirators, 22-year-old Nima Fazeli (a.k.a. Rolex) from Orlando and 19-year-old Mason Sheppard (a.k.a. Chaewon) from Bognor Regis, UK, were also formally charged by the DOJ.
Based on the report by The Verge, Sheppard was discovered because his Binance and Coinbase accounts had traces of sending and receiving the scammed coins, and the 19-year-old was using a personal driver’s license for verifying himself in the cryptocurrency exchanges. Fazeli, a.k.a. Rolex also used his personal driver’s license to verify himself in Coinbase.
Clark was reported to be the one who allegedly tricked a Twitter employee to give him the needed credentials, claiming he’s an employee in Twitter’s IT department, while Fazeli and Sheppard appear to be the middlemen of the scam.
Fazeli is currently facing a $250,000 fine and five years in prison for one count of computer intrusion, while Sheppard has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, intentional access of a protected computer, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to US Attorney for the Northern District of California, Dave Anderson, the investigation is still moving, and he is asking more individuals involved in the attack, that took a total of $110,000 from the public, to identify themselves.
Hours before the identification of the perpetrators, Twitter announced that the scammers focused on a small number of employees using a “phone spear phishing attack,” an attempt to mislead employees for the purpose of gaining access to Twitter’s internal systems. Twitter has around 1,500 employees who are capable of resetting accounts and accessing user data.
“This ‘Bit-Con’ was designed to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country, including here in Florida," said Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren.
Graham Clark was arrested on Friday and was charged as an adult with a $250,000 fine and a 20-year sentence for computer intrusion, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.