On July 31, The Verge article revealed that the US Secret Service, with the help of the FBI and the IRS, have arrested a teenager from Tampa, Florida, claiming that he is the mastermind behind Twitter’s privacy and security breach. Notably, the hack that happened last July 15 is the most significant attack in the history of the social media network.
As reported over two weeks ago, the privacy breach had exploited a significant number of Twitter accounts, including those that belonged to notable individuals such as Bill Gates, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, and former US president Barrack Obama. Upon discovering that a breach is ongoing, Twitter immediately locked out verified accounts that stopped both the hacker and the account owner from tweeting or changing passwords.
According to the State Attorney of Hillsborough, Andrew Warren, the 17-year-old suspect named Graham Clark, would face around 30 charges, such as hacking, identity theft, communications fraud, and organized fraud. He added that the legal proceedings would be conducted in Tampa, Florida, where the teenager resides.
Warren explained in a press conference that the state attorney’s office would handle the prosecution instead of the federal prosecutors. The decision notably allows them greater flexibility in terms of charging a minor in court. He stressed that they must remain vigilant as Clark, despite his age, had managed to pull off that massive attack in a highly sophisticated manner. Warren intends to try the suspect as an adult as permitted by the Florida law in financial fraud dealings.
However, while Warren refused to discuss if there were other people involved in the Twitter breach, the United States Department of Justice revealed that due to the three law enforcement organizations’ joint efforts, they were able to identify three other accomplices.
Aside from Clark, 19-year-old Mason Sheppard from the UK, 22-year-old Nima Fazeli from Orlando, Florida, and an unnamed teenager would face felony charges as well, according to Florida’s law enforcement officials.
It was worth noting that on July 16, US Senator Ron Wyde revealed that he had a private meeting with Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, back in 2018. Notably, they have discussed the implementation of end-to-end encryption that will ultimately protect users’ privacy and direct messages. The senator stressed that Dorsey claimed the company was already working on it. But after the significant breach that happened last July 15, it appears clear that what not the CEO said is not true.