Saudi Press

Saudi Arabia and the world
Tuesday, Apr 16, 2024

Briton pleads guilty to hacking stars' Twitter accounts to steal Bitcoin

Briton pleads guilty to hacking stars' Twitter accounts to steal Bitcoin

The hacker will have to pay back the hundreds of thousands of dollars he stole from people and faces decades behind bars.

A British man has pleaded guilty to hacking Twitter accounts - including Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian and Elon Musk - in a bid to con people out of Bitcoin.

Joseph O'Connor, 23, also admitted other hacking schemes, cyberstalking a young victim, and money laundering charges.

He was extradited from Spain to New York last month and faces as much as 77 years in jail when he is sentenced on 23 June.

O'Connor and his co-conspirators stole more than $794,000 (£629,000) of cryptocurrency - money he must give back to victims, according to prosecutors.

Twitter had to freeze some of the stars' accounts after the tweets in July 2020 urged people to send $1,000 in Bitcoin to receive double back.

He also hacked accounts belonging to Kanye West, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, investor Warren Buffett, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Amazon's Jeff Bezos.

Twitter confirmed 130 accounts were targeted, with 45 used to send tweets.

The company said the hackers got access via a social engineering attack - a breach based on convincing someone to provide access, rather than finding flaws in software.

Twitter said at the time that "a small number of employees" were called over the phone and tricked into providing their login credentials.

Barack Obama was among those hacked


The amateur quality of the scam surprised many compared with how effective the attackers had been at gaining access.

"O'Connor's criminal activities were flagrant and malicious, and his conduct impacted multiple people's lives," said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite.

"He harassed, threatened, and extorted his victims, causing substantial emotional harm."

British citizen Joseph James O'Connor is led by Spanish police officers as he leaves a court in July 2021


O'Connor, who was known online by the handle PlugWalkJoe and previously gave interviews to the media regarding the hack, was arrested in July 2021 in Spain at the request of the FBI.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Saudi Press
0:00
0:00
Close
Reports in Gaza: 5 dead from the impact of aid packages dropped by the USA
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
China Criticizes US for Vetoing UN Ceasefire Resolution in Gaza
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
The U.S. vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza, instead proposing its own six-week ceasefire plan contingent upon the release of all hostages held by Hamas
Prince William Urges End to Gaza Conflict
Saudi Arabia ranks first in UN index for e-government services in MENA
Israel has gone ‘beyond self-defence’ in Gaza, says Labour’s Streeting
EU Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza Conflict
Israel Records 20% Drop In GDP, War In Gaza Is The Reason
Saudi Arabia's FDI Inflows Grow with New International Standards
Venture Capitals Power Up Across MENA Region
Saudi Arabia Introduces Terms for 30-Year Income Tax Exemption for Multinational Companies
Saudi FM: Establishing Palestinian state is only pathway for Mideast stability
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Elon Musk's Starlink Gets License For Israel, Parts Of Gaza
Influencers Exploit X Platform for Profit Amidst Israel-Gaza Conflict
PM Modi Announces Opening Of New CBSE Office In Dubai
International Criminal Court's Chief "Deeply Concerned" By Rafah Bombing
January Funding for MENA Startups Totals $86.5 Million
Saudi Arabia accelerates digital economy growth through Nvidia partnership
Indian female military officers commend Saudi Arabia's progress and women's empowerment
Israel unveils tunnels underneath Gaza City headquarters of UN agency for Palestinian refugees
Israel deploys new military AI in Gaza war
Egypt threatens to suspend key peace treaty if Israel pushes into Gaza border town, officials say
Israel Utilizes AI Military Technology in Gaza Conflict
Saudi Arabia Warns Of A "Humanitarian Catastrophe" If Israel Moves On Rafah
China Warns Iran to Halt Houthi Attacks or Damage Trade Ties
US University To Shut Qatar Campus Due To "Heightened Mideast Instability"
Iran-backed hackers interrupt UAE TV streaming services with deepfake news
Facebook and Instagram Ban Iran's Supreme Leader
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
U.S. Secretary of State Blinken: The Israelis underwent dehumanization on 7.10, this does not give them the right to do this to others.
Defense Technology Showcase Held in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports rise 2.5% to $6bn in November 2023: GASTAT
UK Bans Misleading "Zero Emissions" Claims for Electric Cars
Gaza's Teen Inventor Sparks Light in Displacement
Netanyahu Rejects Ceasefire Proposal, Insists On Total Victory Over Hamas
Guterres appoints independent UNRWA review panel
Private Sector Employment Hits Record High with Over 11 Million Employees in January
Rolls-Royce Executive Encourages Saudi Women to Tap into Their Inner 'Superhero' for Success in Defense Industry
Saudi Arabia launches National Academy of Vehicles and Cars
Saudi Tourism Minister Reveals Plan for 250,000 New Hotel Rooms by 2030
SAR to more than double eastern network passenger capacity with new trains deal
Saudi Arabia Enhances National Defense with New Partnerships
Saudi Aramco Maintains Arab Light Crude Pricing to Asia for March
NEOM Establishes New York Office to Support Investors
Saudi Wealth Fund Draws in Over $25 Billion Worth of Investments in Three Years, Al-Rumayyan Reveals
ZATCA Cautions Against Scammer Schemes
INTRA Defense Technologies inaugurates drone factory in Riyadh
×