Three young people have been arrested and charged on Friday on allegations of involvement in the massive security breach, and identity theft that shook Twitter last month.
One of the three masterminds – 17 year old Graham Ivan Clark, from Tempa, Florida, was arrested and charged by the United States Department of Justice, after an investigation conducted by federal and state investigators.
The 17 year old, apparently, did not work alone, as two other young individuals were arrested shortly after the first arrest was made.
22 year old Nima Fazelli, who goes by the moniker “Rolex”, was arrested in Florida, while 19 year old Mason Sheppard was arrested in the UK.
Mason Sheppard goes by the alias “Chaewon”.
According to the Department of Justice, Mason Sheppard
“…was 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.”
Nima Fazelli was
“…charged in a criminal complaint in the Northern District of California with aiding and abetting the intentional access of a protected computer.”
The third arrested suspect, who is a minor, has been referred to the State Attorney for the 13th Judicial District in Tampa, Florida. This is in pursuant of the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act.
U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson commented that:
“There is a false belief within the criminal hacker community that attacks like the Twitter hack can be perpetrated anonymously and without consequence,”
In furtherance, the US attorney said:
“Today’s charging announcement demonstrates that the elation of nefarious hacking into a secure environment for fun or profit will be short-lived. Criminal conduct over the Internet may feel stealthy to the people who perpetrate it, but there is nothing stealthy about it. In particular, I want to say to would-be offenders, break the law, and we will find you.”
According to an affidavit released by the authorities on Friday, Graham Clark, who is considered to be the mastermind of the hack, gained access to Twitter’s internal tools, and carried out the hack.
“Clark used social engineering to convince a Twitter employee that he was a co-worker in the IT department, and had the employee provide credentials to access the customer service portal.”
The hack targeted 130 Twitter accounts, and sent tweets about a Bitcoin doubling scam from 45 accounts of prominent personalities. As alleged in the complaints, the scam bitcoin account received more than 400 transfers worth more than $100,000.
Twitter on Friday, said it appreciates the swift response of the law enforcement agencies involved in the arrest and prosecution.