U.S. Authorities Extradite UK Citizen Behind 2020 Twitter Hack, SIM Swap Crypto Theft – Joseph O’Connor, who was responsible for the 2020 Twitter hack, has been extradited to the United States and has admitted to committing multiple cybercrime offenses, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York. The SDNY’s statement revealed that O’Connor utilized his advanced technological skills for malicious purposes.
Including conducting SIM swapping attacks to steal substantial amounts of cryptocurrency, hacking Twitter, performing computer intrusions to gain control of social media accounts, and even cyberstalking two individuals, one of whom was a minor. In 2020, a Twitter hack occurred, in which several prominent Twitter accounts were compromised and utilized to advertise a bitcoin giveaway scheme.
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Despite some of the accounts having multi-factor authentication, the attackers were able to conceal warnings about the scam, including those from Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao. They ultimately collected around 11.3 BTC, valued at $103,960, through the deceitful operation.
Graham Ivan Clark, a resident of Florida who collaborated with O’Connor during the hack, was taken into custody in March 2021 and prosecuted as a juvenile since he was 17 years old during the hack. At 23 years old, O’Connor faced charges by the SDNY for his involvement in SIM-swapping assaults aimed at top-level managers in the cryptocurrency business. He confessed to his actions, which caused the looting of $794,000 in digital assets.
The SDNY, without disclosing the company’s name, announced that it provided cryptocurrency wallet infrastructure and related software. Nonetheless, this is not the first instance of cryptocurrency companies experiencing targeted attacks using similar techniques, such as BlockFi.
In addition, telecommunications companies like AT&T and T-Mobile have faced legal action from victims due to their inadequate internal security measures, which have enabled such attacks to occur. O’Connor has pleaded guilty to his involvement in these SIM-swapping attacks and is scheduled for sentencing on June 23.