Teenager accused of hacking Elon Musk, Kanye West, and Joe Biden on Twitter sentenced to 3 years in juvenile prison
- A teenage hacker pleaded guilty in a Florida court to charges related to a July 2020 Twitter hack.
- The hack was part of a scam that prosecutors said involved many high-profile accounts, including Elon Musk and Joe Biden.
- The hacker, Graham Ivan Clark, pleaded guilty to 30 charges against him, per The New York Times.
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The teenager accused of masterminding the hack of several high-profile Twitter accounts in 2020 as part of an alleged cryptocurrency scam has pleaded guilty to numerous charges in Florda's 13th Judicial Circuit Court in Tampa, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The accounts included those of President Joe Biden, who was a presidential candidate at the time, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Kanye West, and the official Apple account.
Graham Ivan Clark, now 18, pleaded guilty to 30 charges against him related to the hack, according to the New York Times. As part of a deal with prosecutors, he agreed to serve three years in a juvenile prison and three years probation, as well as to not use computers without permission or law enforcement supervision, The Times reported.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that the agreement allowed Clark to be sentenced as a "youthful offender" rather than an adult. But if he violates the agreement, he could receive a 10-year minimum sentence that applies to adults, the outlet said.
Two others, Nima Fazeli and Mason Sheppard, also face charges related to the hack, but their cases are still in progress, according to The New York Times.
Prosecutors said that the hack, which took place in July 2020, impacted a number of celebrity accounts on Twitter and was part of a scheme that attempted to scam people into sending bitcoin payments. Twitter said in a statement at the time that the mass cyberattack targeted 130 accounts. The company also said that up to eight accounts, none of which were verified, had all their data downloaded during the event.
The accounts that were successfully hacked posted messages saying that they were feeling generous, and that if people sent them bitcoin, they would send double the amount back. The messages were, of course, false - but the scheme earned Clark approximately $117,000 in cryptocurrency, according to a prosecutor with the Florida State Attorney's Office, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The attack was a moment of reckoning for Twitter, which briefly blocked all verified accounts from tweeting on the day of the hack to stop the tweets.
Twitter declined to comment regarding Clark's plea deal.
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