The Spanish National Police have, at the request of America, arrested UK citizen Joseph O’Connor in Estepona, Spain, in connection with the July 2020 takeover of more than 130 Twitter accounts.
The US Department of Justice said that, in addition to the alleged Twitter account joyride, O’Connor, 22, has been charged in a federal district court in northern California with computer intrusions tied to the commandeering of TikTok and Snapchat user accounts. He has also been accused of cyberstalking a juvenile, and faces extradition to the United States.
A year ago, the Twitter accounts of various celebrities including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, former US president Barack Obama, and others were briefly commandeered to promote a Bitcoin scam.
Tweets sent from the hijacked accounts urged recipients to send $1,000 to a Bitcoin address with the promise that the account holder would send twice as much back. The address involved received over $117,000 worth of BTC from the credulous before Twitter managed to get things back under control.