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Tampa teen accused as "mastermind" of Twitter Attack

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UPDATE 31 Aug 2020 4:00 PM EDT:  FL State Attorney's Office has released official statement to all news media outlets.  They have named Graham Clark as the 17 year old arrested

early this morning for the July 15th Twitter hack.  Investigation found that he reaped more than $100,000 in Bitcoin in a day.   Clark is expected to make his first court appearance on Saturday.

 

Twitter released a statement on the social media platform Friday afternoon, thanking the "swift actions of law enforcement in this investigation."

 

Summary

A teenager in Tampa, FL has been arrested as the alleged "mastermind" behind the July 15th Twitter hack that targeted high-profile accounts

Local TV News Channel 8 first broke the story when they obtained exclusive information about the arrest of he 17-year-old who is unnamed at this time because he is under the

age of 18.

 

State Attorney Andrew Warren of Hillsborough County filed 30 felony charges against the teen this week for "scamming people across America"

in connection with the July 15th Twitter hack.  The charges include 1 count of organized fraud, 17 counts of communications fraud, 1 count of fraudulent

use of personal information and 1 count of access to computer or electronic device without authority. 

 

The suspect was found after the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice conducted a "complex, nationwide investigation" according to the Florida State Attorney's office.


 

 

Quotes

Quote

 Warren’s office says the scheme to defraud “stole the identities of prominent people” and “posted messages in their names directing victims to send Bitcoin” to accounts that were associated with the Tampa teen. According to the state attorney, the scheme reaped more than $100,000 in Bitcoin in just one day. de a quote from the article that explains the news in a bit more detail. Don't quote the whole article, but it should be enough to give the reader a reasonable idea about what's going on.  

 

These crimes were perpetrated using the names of famous people and celebrities, but they’re not the primary victims here. This ‘Bit-Con’ was designed to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country, including here in Florida,” Warren said in a statement. “This massive fraud was orchestrated right here in our backyard, and we will not stand for that.”

My thoughts

 After all the speculation of who and how the perpetrator(s) were able to access Twitter accounts and post the scam messages, US law enforcement accuses and arrests a single teenager living in my area.  A determined individual is still able to gain unauthorized access and commit their crime(s) despite all the efforts or lack thereof to protect that system.

 

Sources

https://www.wfla.com/news/hillsborough-county/tampa-teen-accused-of-being-mastermind-behind-twitter-hack-that-targeted-high-profile-accounts/?utm_source=newsfore&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=4283&tqid=guHiZ31_XUMBvOcnGH9.LlYVo4si0nJiKt4Vm8F3

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Tbh if I were the FBI I would just ask for the teen to return the money and then offer them a job at NSA.

@BlueScope819 so I can see your post

#MuricaParrotGang

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Mentioned in 8/5/2020 TechLinked

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I must of missed something.

I don't get it.

Why would anyone send money to someone impersonating a rich famous person? 🤪

 

If I read something like that I'd be thinking.

"You goof, your the one who is super rich. Why don't you send me some money instead? I could really use it and I promise to personally boost the US economy by spending every dime of it." 😁

 

😜   

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3 minutes ago, Intergalacticbits said:

I must of missed something.

I don't get it.

Why would anyone send money to someone impersonating a rich famous person?

It was the dumb scam where they promised to send twice as much back. It's unfortunate that people didn't see this as an obvious scam even if it was coming from a verified account. 

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51 minutes ago, BlueScope819 said:

Tbh if I were the FBI I would just ask for the teen to return the money and then offer them a job at NSA.

It's not really an offer. It's either you work for us in a shitty contract the rest of your life or you go to prision for 25 years. You wouldn't get to keep the money anyways but maybe if he was smart he cleaned the crypto so he'll still have it in wallets when he gets out

ƆԀ S₱▓Ɇ▓cs: i7 6ʇɥפᴉƎ00K (4.4ghz), Asus DeLuxe X99A II, GT҉X҉1҉0҉8҉0 Zotac Amp ExTrꍟꎭe),Si6F4Gb D???????r PlatinUm, EVGA G2 Sǝʌǝᘉ5ᙣᙍᖇᓎᙎᗅᖶt, Phanteks Enthoo Primo, 3TB WD Black, 500gb 850 Evo, H100iGeeTeeX, Windows 10, K70 R̸̢̡̭͍͕̱̭̟̩̀̀̃́̃͒̈́̈́͑̑́̆͘͜ͅG̶̦̬͊́B̸͈̝̖͗̈́, G502, HyperX Cloud 2s, Asus MX34. פN∩SW∀S 960 EVO

Just keeping this here as a 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"Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk were just some of the names who were impacted by the hack. "

 

Well there's your problem.

 

 

 

 

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Could have done much worse by having people install keyloggers, malware, and 0days. Instead they went for fast cash.

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Additional information from the FL State Attorney's statement:

 

Warren's office said the scheme reaped more than $100,000 worth of Bitcoin in just one day.

 

Twitter previously said that 130 accounts were targeted in the attack, and that tweets were sent out from 45 of those accounts. The social media giant also said that their investigation revealed that the direct message inboxes of 36 accounts were accessed by the hackers, including one elected official in the Netherlands.

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21 minutes ago, rcmaehl said:

Could have done much worse by having people install...0days

Yes, those 0days we all keep kicking around in the cupboard under the stairs just for occasions like this 🤔

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1 minute ago, HM-2 said:

Yes, those 0days we all keep kicking around in the cupboard under the stairs just for occasions like this 🤔

I mean often there's 0days that have lower CVSS scores due to being a lot harder to actually exploit and are thus lower on the list to get patched. However, with enough gullible people anything is possible.

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3 minutes ago, rcmaehl said:

I mean often there's 0days that have lower CVSS scores

If they have a CVSS score they're not really a zero day as they've been observed in the wild and catalogued and are hence known.

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Just now, HM-2 said:

If they have a CVSS score they're not really a zero day as they've been observed in the wild and catalogued and are hence known.

You can estimate a CVSS score without disclosing it and giving it a CVE#, but we're just arguing over semantics at this point. Having a few exploits and utilities in their toolkit could have easily made this a lot worse than it actually was.

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2 hours ago, BlueScope819 said:

Tbh if I were the FBI I would just ask for the teen to return the money and then offer them a job at NSA.

That's just fictitious nonsense TV shows and film's pull. 

 

"17 year old hacker" is usually "bored script kiddie", with what would be generously called a chaotic-evil alignment (aka, sociopath.) If they were posting scams as other twitter users while secretly stealing 1-letter accounts to sell later, that's not "smart hacker" that is "assclown"

 

From what twitter said, if you read between the lines is that an internal employee was "phished", aka "someone was socially engineered or refused to admit they were the inside man" and their tools gave staff far more access than they needed. You know, the typical "why does the CEO and board members need access to everyone's account data" because of course the people in charge want to be able to exercise their power.  The easiest people to phish, are the people who are the least tech savvy, which will be the clerical staff for the office of the president at any company.

 

The fact that the so called hacker was "caught" also entirely proves they were just a script kiddie. These kinds of people think they're hackers because they found tools on the internet and use them against targets that they're not normally used against. The actual people who write such tools, leave backdoors in them so when the skiddie either gets bored, or arrested, another skiddie can take over. Ever wonder why malware persists long after it's control servers are offlined? Because other malware looking for it just piggybacks off it. That's why the best solution to getting rid of malware is to wipe the disk, not pay the ransom. Someone else will just infect it later and ransom it again.

 

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3 minutes ago, Kisai said:

"17 year old hacker" is usually "bored script kiddie"

I don't disagree with you. It still takes effort to social engineer someone in order to do something of this scale. It's not trivial, otherwise it would have happened before. We don't know how he got caught so at this point you're creating conclusions from data that doesn't exist in the public eye. (How he got caught) And do I really think NSA should hire him? No, of course not, it's a joke.

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1 hour ago, rcmaehl said:

You can estimate a CVSS score without disclosing it and giving it a CVE#

You can, but that's not really my point. Talking about 0-days as if a teenage skiddie had access to them when in reality they're relatively rare commodities traded in some cases for millions of dollars is frankly a bit silly.

 

1 hour ago, rcmaehl said:

we're just arguing over semantics

Given this kind of stuff us my $DayJob it's not really semantics, more flagging throwaway and careless use of technical terms.

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23 minutes ago, HM-2 said:

Talking about 0-days as if a teenage skiddie had access to them...is frankly a bit silly.

Which I was why I said it could have been worse. A hypothetical with all the bells, whistles, mis-configurations, social engineering, and what-have-you included.

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Two more arrested, one in Orlando another in the UK.

 

Quote

But apparently, he wasn’t alone: shortly after the Tampa arrest was revealed and after we published this story, two more individuals were formally charged by the US Department of Justice: 22-year-old Nima Fazeli in Orlando and 19-year-old Mason Sheppard in the UK.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/7/31/21349920/twitter-hack-arrest-florida-teen-fbi-irs-secret-service

 

Quote

According to federal agents, Sheppard had used a personal driver’s license to verify himself with the Binance and Coinbase cryptocurrency exchanges, and his accounts were found to have sent and received some of the scammed bitcoin. Fazeli also used a driver’s license to verify with Coinbase, where accounts controlled by “Rolex” allegedly received payments in exchange for stolen Twitter usernames.

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4 hours ago, Intergalacticbits said:

I must of missed something.

I don't get it.

Why would anyone send money to someone impersonating a rich famous person? 🤪

 

If I read something like that I'd be thinking.

"You goof, your the one who is super rich. Why don't you send me some money instead? I could really use it and I promise to personally boost the US economy by spending every dime of it." 😁

 

😜   

You're trying to figure that out, I'm still trying to figure out what brainlets out there actually click on adverts on websites or videos.

 

Seriously. Have they never been on the internet before?

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I'm find it odd that this is investigated and allegedly resolved so quickly, yet there is no apparent concern over Twitter refusing to verify the accounts of certain people on Twitter.

 

If Identity theft is a crime, shouldn't identity denial be one as well? Should the baseless removal of verification not be considered identity theft?

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6 hours ago, BlueScope819 said:

Tbh if I were the FBI I would just ask for the teen to return the money and then offer them a job at NSA.

They have their ways and I wouldn't be surprised if it has happened before, they just won't make it public knowledge.

 

3 hours ago, Spotty said:

Two more arrested, one in Orlando another in the UK.

 

https://www.theverge.com/2020/7/31/21349920/twitter-hack-arrest-florida-teen-fbi-irs-secret-service

 

Clever 🙄

I was trying to work out how a single person managed to pull of a thing so complex as this yet get caught so easy, it seemed rather suspicious to me if they had the right person or not.  But then this is how they got the silk road wasn't it, the head dude used his email in a login attempt in a brain fart moment and that was it.

QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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8 minutes ago, mr moose said:

They have their ways and I wouldn't be surprised if it has happened before, they just won't make it public knowledge.

 

I was trying to work out how a single person managed to pull of a thing so complex as this yet get caught so easy, it seemed rather suspicious to me if they had the right person or not.  But then this is how they got the silk road wasn't it, the head dude used his email in a login attempt in a brain fart moment and that was it.

Could be fall guys. Like I don't know if they are gaming friends or whatever, but that law of "the chance of a secret being blown is proportional to the number of people who know about it" it seems like with 3 people total there is a very good chance one of them would have bragged to a girlfriend, in game chat, or not knowing how to launder $33k if it's an even cut.

@BlueScope819 so I can see your post

#MuricaParrotGang

My name is Legion 'Murica Parrot Gang, for we are many.

If a design is taking too long, the design is wrong, and therefore, the design must be modified to accelerate progress. -Elon

Mentioned in 8/5/2020 TechLinked

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only 100,000? i was expecting 5-10x of that because of all the internet idiots jumping in to believe the first thing they see if they can get rich quick.

Details separate people.

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8 minutes ago, Tech_Dreamer said:

only 100,000? i was expecting 5-10x of that because of all the internet idiots jumping in to believe the first thing they see if they can get rich quick.

Wait, you mean those JEFF BEZOS IS GIVING A FREE IPHONE AND 4X ANY BITCOINS YOU HAVE JUST BECAUSE YOU USED AMAZON LAST YEAR!!! CLAIM YOUR PRIZE NOW!!! Just donate $100 to this address and you'll get $400!!!! messages are fake?? How sad.

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2 minutes ago, Caroline said:

snippity snip

i can ignore majority of the high players tweet, But Mr Beast tweet seemed kinda real, it was like something he'd post for real. he's got a reputation on giving away stuff & money especially with weird easily achievable stipulation to get em .

Details separate people.

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