Elon Musk and several other notable celebrities and politicians were subjected to a Twitter hacking spree in mid-July, and the suspected perpetrator is in police custody facing 30 felony charges related to the hack.
Graham Ivan Clark, a 17-year-old recent high school graduate was arrested at his apartment in Tampa, Florida on Friday, July 31. He faces 30 felony charges that include fraud.
Clark also had two accomplices, Mason John Sheppard, a 19-year old from the U.K., and Nima Fazeli, a 22-year old from Orlando, Florida. These two individuals are accused of aiding and helping Clark during the hack, which aimed to convince people to send Bitcoin, a form of Cryptocurrency, to a personal account.
The New York Times reported that Clark’s efforts turned into more than $180,000 worth of profit.
The collection of Twitter account hacks effected Kanye West, Presidential Candidate Joe Biden, Former President Barack Obama, and former Microsoft frontman Bill Gates. Tech company Apple’s Twitter feed was also disrupted by the attack.
Impressively, Clark’s attack was careful and coordinated. He was able to infiltrate Twitter’s security network and gain access to some of the most influential figure’s accounts on the social media platform.
Andrew Warren, the Florida State Attorney responsible for handling the case, indicated that Clark’s actions were surprising.
“This was not an ordinary 17-year-old,” Warren said about Clark.
Clark was able to infiltrate Twitter’s security services by telling a company employee that he was a co-worker in the IT department. Clark said he was in need of the employee’s credentials to access the customer service portal, according to an affidavit from the State of Florida. 130 accounts in total had been compromised by the end of the spree, which brought serious doubts about whether the social networking site’s security was sufficient.
Clark and his associates’ plan eventually ended when hints that revealed their real identities came to light. The three suspected hackers also did not have the money hidden in an efficient fashion, which made the job of capturing the perpetrators easy for law enforcement agencies.
Clark was charged by the State Attorney’s office in Tampa, Florida instead of by Federal Authorities because of his age. The fact that he is a minor also keeps many pieces of the puzzle hidden. He will be charged as an adult, however.
In a public statement, Twitter thanked law enforcement agencies for acting quickly and stated that they “will continue to cooperate as the case progresses.”
As for Musk, his Twitter is still available where he provides plenty of updates on Tesla’s products.