A 22-year-old British man accused of hacking over 130 accounts belonging to politicians, celebrities, and businesses in 2020 was arrested in Spain. Joseph O'Connor is facing multiple charges in the United States, including conspiracy to intentionally access a computer without authorization, intentionally accessing a computer without authorization, intent to extort from a person a thing of value, transmitting a communication containing a threat, and cyberstalking.
O'Connor allegedly gained access to the accounts of numerous high-profile individuals and companies, including Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian, and Bill Gates. He then posted messages telling their followers they were raising money for charity and provided a link asking them to donate in Bitcoin.
Twitter removed the tweets and temporarily locked the affected accounts, but not before people sent over $100,000 to O'Connor.
O'Connor is also accused of hacking into several TikTok and Snapchat accounts and cyberstalking a minor.
"If O'Connor is convicted, a federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors," the Justice Department said in a statement.
O'Connor is now the fourth person charged in connection with the hack. The mastermind of the hack, 18-year-old Graham Ivan Clark, was sentenced to three years in juvenile prison and three years of probation. Clark was 17 when the crime was committed.
Orlando resident Nima Fazeli and Mason Sheppard of the United Kingdom have both been charged with serving as middlemen who helped Clark sell access to the compromised accounts.