Threat Management

Guilty plea entered by UK hacker behind 2020 Twitter attack

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that U.K. national Joseph James O'Connor, also known as PlugwalkJoe, has entered a guilty plea for his involvement in the widespread Twitter hack in July 2020, which resulted in the compromise of 130 accounts, including those of former U.S. President Barack Obama and Bill Gates, according to The Hacker News. Social engineering schemes have been leveraged by O'Connor and his co-conspirators to hijack Twitter accounts and engage in a $120,000 cryptocurrency scam. O'Connor is also facing charges in relation to SIM swapping attacks against TikTok and Snapchat accounts. The Justice Department also said that a New York-based cryptocurrency firm had been compromised by O'Connor and his co-conspirators from March to May 2019 to facilitate the theft of $794,000. "After stealing and fraudulently diverting the stolen cryptocurrency, O'Connor and his co-conspirators laundered it through dozens of transfers and transactions and exchanged some of it for Bitcoin using cryptocurrency exchange services. Ultimately, a portion of the stolen cryptocurrency was deposited into a cryptocurrency exchange account controlled by O'Connor,' said the Justice Department, which noted that the stolen proceeds will be forfeited by O'Connor, who faces more than 70 years imprisonment for the charges.

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