Tag Archives: Jack Dorsey

Just in: 17-year-old Twitter hack mastermind nabbed

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Criminal charges were filed on Friday against the suspected teenage mastermind of an epic Twitter hack and two others who allegedly helped hijack celebrity accounts to swindle people out of more than $100,000 in a cryptocurrency scheme.

Prosecutors in Florida said they filed 30 felony counts against 17-year-old resident of the state identified as the “mastermind” of the cyberattack. He was arrested in Tampa, Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said.

Separately, the US Attorney’s Office in San Francisco announced charges against three people, one of them from Britain, for roles in the mid-July cyberattack that rocked Twitter.

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US officials said 19-year-old Mason “Chaewon” Sheppard of Britain along with Nima Fazeli, 22, of Florida face criminal charges in the case.

Details about the third individual were not released by US officials because he is a minor, but it appeared they were referring to the Florida teenager being prosecuted as adult in that state.

The attack on Twitter involved a combination of “technical breaches and social engineering” that let hackers hijack accounts of politicians, celebrities, and musicians, according to federal prosecutors.

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Follow the money
The three defendants are accused of hacking Twitter accounts, creating a scam Bitcoin account, and sending out imposter tweets from hijacked account offering to double Bitcoin cryptocurrency deposits.

“This case serves as a great example of how following the money, international collaboration, and public-private partnerships can work to successfully take down a perceived anonymous criminal enterprise,” said criminal investigation special agent Kelly Jackson of the Internal Revenue Service.

The attack which Twitter said resulted from a “phone spear phishing” attack enabled hackers to take control of accounts of famous people such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk and former US president Barack Obama and dupe people into sending Bitcoin.

“These crimes were perpetrated using the names of famous people and celebrities, but they’re not the primary victims here,” Warren said in a release.

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“This ‘Bit-Con’ was designed to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country.”

Scamming by phone
Hackers who accessed dozens of high-profile Twitter accounts in mid-July gained access to the system with an attack that tricked a handful of employees into giving up their credentials, according to a company update.

Twitter said this week that the July 15 incident by Bitcoin scammers stemmed from a “spear phishing” attack which deceived employees about the origin of the messages.

The hackers “targeted a small number of employees through a phone spear phishing attack,” according to a Twitter Support statement.

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“This attack relied on a significant and concerted attempt to mislead certain employees and exploit human vulnerabilities to gain access to our internal systems.”

Twitter said that following the incident it has “significantly limited access to our internal tools and systems” and is taking additional steps to tighten security.

The massive hack of high-profile users from Elon Musk to Joe Biden affected at least 130 accounts, with tweets posted by the usurpers duping people into sending Bitcoin to accounts that Warren said were associated with Clark.

The official accounts of Apple, Uber, Kanye West, Bill Gates, Barack Obama and others were also affected.

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Faked tweets were sent from 45 accounts, according to Twitter, and the hackers accessed private messages of 36 and downloaded Twitter data from seven.

The incident has raised concerns about the security of the platform increasingly used for conversations on politics and public affairs.

John Dickson of the security firm Denim Group said the latest disclosure did not necessarily suggest a sophisticated attack from a nation-state and noted it may have been possible to find targets through research on LinkedIn or Google.

“This is like the original hackers from the 1980s and 1990s; they were very good at conning people and getting them to give their credentials,” Dickson said.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey says he need to re evaluate his plans on mingling with Africans.


The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Twitter, Jack Dorsey has cancelled his plan to relocate to Africa for up to six months in 2020. Jack described his tweets about moving to Africa as “a mistake”.
In November 2019, after visiting Africa on a month-long trip, Dorsey tweeted:-

“Sad to be leaving the continent … for now. Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I’ll be living here for 3-6 months mid-2020. Grateful I was able to experience a small part.”


However, Dorsey has now said that he needs to re-evaluates his plans about living in Africa due to the Coronavirus outbreak amongst other things

He said this while speaking at an investor conference sponsored by Morgan Stanley.


“When I tweeted about my intention to spend a few months in Africa this year, I made a mistake and should have provided more context about why.

The continent will be one of the most populated in the next 20-30 years, and room for tech innovation there is incredible, but in light of COVID-19 and everything else going on I need to reevaluate.


Either way, we’ll continue to pursue opportunities in Africa.” Dorsey said.

Coronavirus aside, Dorsey risks being replaced as Chief Executive Officer of the company he co-founded due to the new activist investors that are currently rooting for his removal.


News reports last week said Elliott Management, the activist hedge fund founded by billionaire Paul Singer, a major Republican political supporter, has acquired nearly 5% in Twitter and is now pushing for the removal of Dorsey as CEO, and has nominated four members to Twitter’s board.

The firm pushed for the change stating that Dorsey’s attention is divided between running Twitter and his financial transactions startup Square, and that Dorsey intends to live part of each year in Africa.

Dorsey said he remained capable of managing the two San Francisco-based tech firms.

“I have enough flexibility in my schedule to focus on the most important things and I have a good sense of what is critical on both companies,” he said.


#Newsworthy…