A 17 year old teenager was arrested for the latest twitter hack that took place last month. The teenage mastermind gained access to twitters back end and targeted many elite accounts. Accounts of presidential candidate Joe Biden, Bill Gates the founder of Microsoft and more were compromised in the attack. The 17 year old plead not guilty earlier this week to a list of charges involving the attack.
The worst hackers in history
Federal agents came across a lot of evidence that lead them to the Tampa teen. Law enforcement described the teenager as mastermind of the worst attack in twitters history.
Twitter released a statement on the attacks. It was revealed that the attacker breached the company's back end platform using a series of social engineering attacks. The threat actors gained access to twitters back end using stolen employee credentials. The mastermind then proceeded to send tweets from different accounts asking for bitcoins.
Investigations leading into his arrest were carried out by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice. Clark's prosecution was then handed to Florida's state court because of laws that allow minors to be charges as adults.
Court records state that more than $100,000 was made by the bitcoin fraud scheme which involved the breach of celebrity accounts. Clark sent tweets from multiple accounts claiming that he will double users bitcoin. After an amount of coins was sent to his wallet he was meant to send double the coins back, although it was all a scam.
The defendant was facing a huge number of charges in court. Clark was being charged with 17 counts of communication fraud, 11 counts of identity theft and two counts of obtaining $5,000 through fraud. He was also being charged with accessing electronic devices without authority.
A brief hearing occurred in Tampa via the Zoom video conferencing app. The Florida teen told the Judge "Christopher Nash" that he was not guilty. The teen claimed that the charges issued by prosecutors were false.
Clark is a former Gaither High School student. He entered the not guilty plea last Tuesday. A bail hearing was scheduled for August 5th. The hackers defense team planned to argue for a reduction in bail since the $725,000 bail has kept Clark behind bars since his arrest.
If the youngster is found guilty, he might be looking at a 200 year prison sentence for the thirty counts of fraud.
Two other suspects are facing charges in relation to this case. 22 year old "Nima Fazeli" from Orlando and 19 year old "Mason Sheppard" are being prosecuted for similar charges. Law enforcement found that the duo used Discord to help orchestrate the Twitter hack.
Twitter: A study of what could have went wrong
The attack on twitter caught the social media giant by storm. Less than 24 hours later expect commentators seemed to agree that the twitter attack did not go bad. The attack could have been much much worse they said.
Should Twitter be trusted?
Bruce Schneier, an experienced security expert commented on the attack. He said 'It leaves a lot to imagine if the brazen attack would have happened the night before the elections'.
Schneier mentioned the fact that many members of the public have over-relied on Twitter for too long. Social media platforms continue to yield a lot of unregulated power.
The time twitter took to regain control of their systems after the attack says a lot. It highlights the fundamental flaws within twitter verification infrastructure. This does not just apply to twitter but also the whole U.S. information ecosystem. The dependency on such insecure structures poses a great danger on all sectors.
Twitter has not provided any further information concerning the attacks. They only released a simple statement that claims the hackers used social engineering to attack the company.