One of the most infamous hacks in recent times may have been spearheaded by two teenagers, investigators have revealed. In the latest twist to the massive Twitter hack in July, U.S. federal agents have revealed that a 16-year-old is the latest focus of investigations, alleging he was one of the two key orchestrators of the hack.
Authorities arrested Ivan Clark, a 17-year-old from Florida, on allegations that was one of the key players behind the hack and the subsequent BTC giveaway scam. They also arrested two other suspects—19 and 21 years of age—who they accused of helping the teenager in the hack.
Now, the FBI claims that yet another teenager may have been the second mastermind—this time a 16-year-old from Massachusetts. The federal authorities executed a search warrant on the teenager’s home, where he lives with his parents, on Tuesday this week. He is yet to be arrested or charged, and his identity is being withheld as he is a minor.
The teenager first got involved in the planning of the Twitter hack in May 2020, The New York Times reported. He would allegedly communicate with the other alleged hackers, including Clark, through encrypted messaging platforms such as Signal and Wire, avoiding Discord which the others used. This made him more difficult to trace unlike his co-conspirators.
However, on the day of the hack, the Massachusetts teenager allegedly made video calls to his friends to show them that he was inside Twitter’s back-end systems.
The teenager reportedly played a huge role in the hack, including phishing for credentials from Twitter employees. He would allegedly pose as a contractor with the social media platform and convince employees to enter their login credentials on fraudulent websites. The hackers then used these credentials to access Twitter’s back-end systems.
While the Twitter hack is the biggest he has been involved in, it’s not his first. According to The Times, he has been allegedly involved in a number of SIM swaps, a crime that has been on the rise in recent years. In 2019, he was also allegedly part of a group that hacked GoDaddy, an internet domain registrar and web hosting company.
If arrested, the teenager is likely to be tried in his home state of Massachusetts as a minor.
The July 15 Twitter hack targeted celebrity accounts, using them to tout a BTC giveaway scam. The hackers took over the accounts of Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Joe Biden, Kanye West, Apple, Jeff Bezos and more, posting a ‘we will double your contribution’ BTC scam. Despite being blatantly obvious that it was a scam, some people fell for it. The hackers received close to 13 BTC, which at the time was worth $116,000.
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