UK citizen arrested in Spain in connection to 2020 Twitter hack

UK citizen arrested in Spain in connection to 2020 Twitter hack
© Getty

A citizen of the United Kingdom was arrested in Spain on Wednesday in connection with the July 2020 Twitter hack that compromised politicians’ and celebrities’ accounts, the Justice Department announced

Joseph O’Connor, 22, is facing several federal charges in connection with the July 15, 2020, hack that compromised over 130 Twitter accounts, including those of President BidenJoe BidenThe Supreme Court and blind partisanship ended the illusion of independent agencies Missed debt ceiling deadline kicks off high-stakes fight Senate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session MORE, former President Obama and Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskTesla's Musk voices support for Epic amid Apple lawsuit Tesla reports over 0M in energy business revenue in second quarter As inflation and government debt surge, Washington is ignoring our most critical economic crisis MORE

The Justice Department said the U.K.’s National Crime Agency and the Spanish National Police provided assistance in the investigation and the arrest.

ADVERTISEMENT

Twitter said last year that it believed the hack was a “coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.”

The company said at the time that the hackers accessed the direct message inbox for up to 36 of the accounts, which included one elected official in the Netherlands.

Graham Clark, 18, was sentenced in March to three years in prison after pleading guilty to various fraud charges in connection with the hack.

Clark, who was 17 at the time, was able to raise 12.86 bitcoin, which was the equivalent of over $117,000 at the time, by gaining access to high-profile Twitter accounts and asking followers to send bitcoin to a cryptocurrency account.

Two other people were arrested in connection with the hack last year.

O’Connor is facing ten federal charges in a California federal court, the Department said.

While he is charged in connection with the hack, O’Connor is facing separate charges for “computer intrusions” related to takeovers of TikTok and Snapchat user accounts. He is also charged with cyberstalking a juvenile victim.