Joseph O’Connor, a 22-year-old citizen of the United Kingdom, has been arrested in connection with the 2020 Twitter hack that impacted multiple high-profile accounts like Apple.
As reported by The Verge, the United States Department of Justice issued a press release announcing O’Connor’s arrest. The hacker was apparently apprehended in Estepona, Spain, by Spanish National Police. In addition to his involvement in the Twitter hack, O’Connor is also being charged with hacks on TikTok and Snapchat as well as cyberstalking a juvenile.
O’Connor is charged with three counts of conspiracy to intentionally access a computer without authorization and obtaining information from a protected computer; two counts of intentionally accessing a computer without authorization and obtaining information from a protected computer; one count of conspiracy to intentionally access a computer without authorization and, with the intent to extort from a person a thing of value, transmitting a communication containing a threat; one count of making extortive communications; one count of making threatening communications; and two counts of cyberstalking. If O’Connor is convicted, a federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The July 2020 hack of Twitter affected multiple high-profile accounts including Apple, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, and other political figures, brands, and artists. The purpose of the hack was to scam people into sending Bitcoin to an unknown account.
All in all, the hackers made away with over $100,000 in Bitcoin after people responded to fraudulent tweets from the hacked accounts announcing that they would receive more Bitcoin than they sent.