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Joseph James O’Connor, British National, Pleads Guilty To 2020 Twitter Hack

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Joseph James O’Connor, a 23-year-old hacker, made a guilty plea in New York for his participation in one of the largest social network breaches in history. A British resident, O’Connor was extradited to the US last month. 

Known as PlugwalkJoe, Joseph James O’Connor faces more than 70 years in prison for hacking, which was part of a major Bitcoin fraud. The Twitter breach affected over 130 accounts, including those of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, in July 2020.

O’Connor was charged alongside three other men. In 2021, American youngster Graham Ivan Clark made a guilty plea. Mason Sheppard of Bognor Regis, England, and Nima Fazeli of Orlando, Florida, were accused of federal offences.

According to a statement from US Assistant Attorney-General Kenneth Polite Jr who elaborated O’Connor’s actions as “flagrant and malicious” in a statement, O’Connor “harassed, threatened, and extorted his victims, causing substantial emotional harm.”   

“Like many criminal actors, O’Connor tried to stay anonymous by using a computer to hide behind stealth accounts and aliases from outside the United States. But this plea shows that our investigators and prosecutors will identify, locate, and bring to justice such criminals to ensure they face the consequences for their crimes,” he further said.

Approximately 350 million Twitter users saw questionable messages from verified and official accounts of the biggest Twitter users in 2020. A crypto currency giveaway conned thousands into believing it was real. Cyber experts believed that the motive behind the Twitter hack was not so farsighted so as to make this much worse.  

Markets could have been affected by misinformation that was disseminated to influence political debate, for instance, or by well written phoney corporate announcements.

The hackers dialed a select group of Twitter employees, told them a fake story to make them reveal their internal login information, and ultimately received Twitter’s potent administrative tools. After which their social engineering skills provided them access to the site’s potent internal control. Their techniques were more conman-like. 

Apart from the Twitter hack, O’Connor also confessed to other hacking crimes, among which one included access to a high-profile TikTok account.

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