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Twitter hack: Federal agents investigate 16-year-old after last month's arrest of Florida teen

Federal agents are investigating a 16-year-old who reportedly had a key role in the July 15 high-profile Twitter hack.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | September 2, 2020 | Updated 13:06 IST
(Source: Reuters)

Highlights

  • A 16-year-old from Massachusetts is being investigated in the high-profile Twitter hack.
  • He is suspected to have played a key role in planning the attack and gaining access to admin-control.
  • Last month, the FBI arrested a 17-year-old Florida teen calling him the mastermind behind the attack.

Federal agents in Massachusetts are investigating a 16-year-old to be behind the high-profile Twitter hack that affected the accounts of Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Joe Biden among others. Sources familiar with the matter told NYT that the teen helped plot and carry out major aspects of the breach that involved social engineering and gaining access to Twitter's admin systems.

The federal agents searched the suspected teen's house in Massachusetts, where he lives with his parents, as per the report. As of now, the teen is not being charged with any crime and his records have not been made public.

Last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested Graham Clark, a 17-year-old from Tampa, Florida calling him the mastermind in the high-profile Twitter hack. Clark faces 30 felony charges including organised fraud, communications fraud, identity theft, and hacking. Clark is being charged as an adult in the state of Florida considering how bad the consequence of the hack could have been. He has pleaded not guilty and has not made the bail payment to get out of jail.

As per the report, the Massachusetts teen got involved with Clark in planning the high-profile hack in May. While Clark got involved with his accomplices -- a 19-year-old from the United Kingdom Mason John Sheppard and a 22-year-old Nima Fazeli from Orlando on Discord, the messaging app. The Massachusetts teen restricted himself from talking on the platform and used encrypted platforms like the Wire and Signal.

NYT quoted a hacker O'Connor who goes by the name PlugWalk Joe, whose name also surfaced in reports in the backdrop of the hack. He is said to have seen the messages of the Massachusetts teen and called him "smarter than the rest."

On the night of July 15, 136 of the most high-profile accounts including that of Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Official accounts of Apple, and Uber were targeted. 45 of these accounts were then used to spread the bitcoin scam and fool people into donating money through a link.

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