A Florida teenager has been identified by authorities as the “mastermind” behind the recent Twitter Bitcoin hack that targeted the accounts of Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Bill Gates and many other high-profile celebrities. The 17-year-old was arrested Friday and charged in Tampa, according to the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office.
During the hack, the Twitter accounts of celebrities including Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Kim Kardashian West and Bill Gates asked millions of followers to send money to a Bitcoin address. The hackers acquired more than $100,000 in Bitcoin from more than 400 transfers the day of the hack, the DOJ said, adding that approximately 130 accounts of politicians, celebrities and musicians were compromised.
Twitter announced Thursday that the July 15 hack was the result of a phone spear phishing attack that required access to both the site’s internal network and employee credentials granting restricted access. The hacker was able to obtain passwords and other sensitive information from employees using illegitimate emails, the company said.
I don’t know if it’s scary, sad, or lucky it was “just” three young hackers who did this and not a nation-state or other bad actor. Probably a combination of all three.