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British man arrested for 2020 hack of 130 high-profile Twitter accounts

Joseph O'Connor, 22, was arrested on Wednesday in connection with a hack that affected 130 Twitter accounts of politicians, celebrities and businesses including President Joe Biden last year. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Joseph O'Connor, 22, was arrested on Wednesday in connection with a hack that affected 130 Twitter accounts of politicians, celebrities and businesses including President Joe Biden last year. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

July 21 (UPI) -- A British man was arrested Wednesday for a Twitter hack last July targeting President Joe Biden and other high-profile users.

Joseph O'Connor, 22, was arrested by Spanish National Police in Estepona, Spain, in response to a U.S. request for his arrest on charges in connection with the hack that affected more than 130 Twitter accounts, the Justice Department said.

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O'Connor was also charged with computer intrusions related to TikTok and Snapchat user accounts and with cyberstalking a juvenile victim.

The 2020 hack affected accounts of politicians, celebrities and businesses including Barack Obama, Jeff, Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, Kanye West and Apple's official account.

Affected accounts tweeted a cryptocurrency scheme soliciting users to pay an amount in bitcoin with the promise it would be doubled.

"Everyone is asking me to give back, and now is the time," one form of the tweet read. "You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000."

Federal prosecutors said the scam brought in more than $100,000 in bitcoin from some 400 accounts in one day, all of which was recovered.

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It also caused Twitter to briefly block all verified accounts from posting as it responded to the hack.

The Justice Department said a federal district court will determine O'Connor's sentence if he is convicted of any of the charges he faces.

Graham Ivan Clark, 18, of Florida, was sentenced to three years in prison at a juvenile facility and three years of probation after being convicted of charges related to the hack.

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