UK man involved in Twitter hacking charged in NY with cryptocurrency theft. According to Reuters, Joseph James O’Connor, 22, and his accomplices stole Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin after gaining control of victims’ cell phone numbers by linking them to subscriber identity module cards, or SIM cards.
O’Connor was earlier also charged in the US for his involvement in the hacking of politicians’ and celebrities’ Twitter accounts. On Wednesday he was charged in a new scheme involving theft of $784,000 of cryptocurrency.
According to the prosecutors, O’Connor aka PlugwalkJoe, and his accomplices carried out SIM swap attacks targeting three executives of a Manhattan cryptocurrency company. They managed to steal cryptocurrency from two clients and laundered what they stole.
The prosecutors further said the scheme ran from March to May 2019. While a lawyer for O’Connor could not immediately be identified.
After his arrest on July 21, in relation to the July 2020 hacking incident involving the compromise of Twitter accounts and allegedly netting more than $118,000 of Bitcoin, O’Connor is still awaiting possible extradition from Spain.
Twitter accounts hacked by the group included U.S. President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Tesla’s Elon Musk, reality TV star Kim Kardashian and Ye, the rapper once known as Kanye West.
The teenage mastermind of the Twitter hack, Graham Ivan Clark, pleaded guilty in March in a Florida state court and was sentenced to three years in a juvenile prison.
O’Connor’s charges include conspiracies to commit wire fraud and money laundering. Each carries a maximum of 20-year prison term, as well as aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit computer hacking.
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