Home world Florida teen charged in hack of high-profile Twitter accounts – Nationwide

Florida teen charged in hack of high-profile Twitter accounts – Nationwide

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MIAMI — A Florida teen hacked the Twitter accounts of outstanding politicians, celebrities and expertise moguls to rip-off individuals round globe out of greater than $100,000 in Bitcoin, authorities stated Friday.

The 17-year-old boy was arrested earlier Friday in Tampa, the place the Hillsborough State Lawyer’s Workplace will prosecute the case. He faces 30 felony prices, in keeping with a information launch.

The hacks led to bogus tweets being despatched out July 15 from the accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg and numerous tech billionaires together with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Invoice Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Celebrities Kanye West and his spouse, Kim Kardashian West, had been additionally hacked.

The tweets supplied to ship $2,000 for each $1,000 despatched to an nameless Bitcoin handle.

Learn extra:
Twitter says hackers noticed direct messages from 36 accounts throughout breach

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Though the case was investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Division of Justice, Hillsborough State Lawyer Andrew Warren defined that his workplace is prosecuting the teenager in Florida state courtroom as a result of Florida regulation permits minors to be charged as adults in monetary fraud circumstances corresponding to this when acceptable.

“This defendant lives right here in Tampa, he dedicated the crime right here, and he’ll be prosecuted right here,” Warren stated.

Twitter beforehand stated hackers used the cellphone to idiot the social media firm’s workers into giving them entry. It stated focused “a small variety of workers via a cellphone spear-phishing assault.”

“This assault relied on a major and concerted try to mislead sure workers and exploit human vulnerabilities to achieve entry to our inside methods,” the corporate tweeted.

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After stealing worker credentials and entering into Twitter’s methods, the hackers had been capable of goal different workers who had entry to account assist instruments, the corporate stated.

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The hackers focused 130 accounts. They managed to tweet from 45 accounts, entry the direct message inboxes of 36, and obtain the Twitter knowledge from seven. Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders has stated his inbox was amongst these accessed.

Spear-phishing is a extra focused model of phishing, an impersonation rip-off that makes use of e-mail or different digital communications to deceive recipients into handing over delicate data.

Twitter stated it might present a extra detailed report later “given the continued regulation enforcement investigation.”

Learn extra:
Twitter says 130 accounts focused throughout hack, guarantees safety enhance

The corporate has beforehand stated the incident was a “co-ordinated social engineering assault” that focused a few of its workers with entry to inside methods and instruments. It didn’t present any extra details about how the assault was carried out, however the particulars launched thus far counsel the hackers began by utilizing the old school methodology of speaking their well past safety.

British cybersecurity analyst Graham Cluley stated his guess was {that a} focused Twitter worker or contractor obtained a message by cellphone asking them to name a quantity.

“When the employee known as the quantity they could have been taken to a convincing (however pretend) helpdesk operator, who was then ready to make use of social engineering strategies to trick the meant sufferer into handing over their credentials,” Clulely wrote Friday on his weblog.

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It’s additionally potential the hackers pretended to name from the corporate’s respectable assist line by spoofing the quantity, he stated.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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