Three Teenagers Charged Over Celebrity Twitter Hack

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Three people have been indicted for participating in a massive Twitter hack that took place on July 15, 2020

Mason Sheppard (19), from Bognor Regis, has been indicted for allegedly hacking celebrities’ Twitter accounts, including Kim Kardashian and Elon Musk. Sheppard is accused of hacking into accounts of famous politicians and moguls in an attempt to obtain £76,000 worth of Bitcoin. Sheppard is also known by the name “Chaewon”. 

The United KIngdom’s National Crime Agency said in a tweet that it has conducted a search of a property in the West Sussex town in the course of the investigation.

According to the agency’s announcement, Sheppard has been “charged in a criminal complaint in the Northern District of California with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and the intentional access of a protected computer”.

The second defendant, Nima Fazeli, also known as “Rolex,” 22, from Orlando, was allegedly acting as an accomplice in the intentional access of a protected computer. Graham Clark, 17, is the third defendant and a juvenile. 

Clark was picked up in Tampa Florida and now stands accused of over 30 charges – “one count of organized fraud, 17 counts of communications fraud, one count of fraudulent use of personal information with over $100,000 or 30 or more victims, 10 counts of fraudulent use of personal information and one count of access to computer or electronic device without authority.”

The defendants have allegedly created Bitcoin addresses for the purpose of the “scam” and accessed famous Twitter accounts and posted bogus tweets, promising to double any bitcoin deposits made to the scam Bitcoin address. 

The hackers have then transferred the BTC sent by gullible followers to the address, which received deposits worth over $100,000. 

The U.S. Attorney David L Anderson for the Northern District of California said: “There is a false belief within the criminal hacker community that attacks like the Twitter hack can be perpetrated anonymously and without consequence”.

“Today’s charging announcement demonstrates that the elation of nefarious hacking into a secure environment for fun or profit will be short-lived.”

The defendants have allegedly gained access to over 100 accounts, which resulted in fake tweets from famous people including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, as well as several tech billionaires including Jeff Bezos.

Accounts of Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian were also affected. Out of 130 affected accounts, hackers have managed to post tweets from 45, access the direct message chats of 36, as well as download the Twitter data from 7.