UK citizen pleads guilty to 2020 Twitter hack and other cybercrimes #GeekLeap

Joseph James O’Connor has pleaded responsible to enjoying a task in varied cybercrime actions, together with the July 2020 hack that took over lots of of high-profile Twitter accounts. O’Connor, who’s identified by the identify PlugwalkJoe on-line, was initially from Liverpool, however he was extradited from Spain to the US in April. When you’ll recall, the perpetrators of the 2020 Twitter hack hijacked accounts owned by common personalities, together with Invoice Gates, Barack Obama and Elon Musk, and promoted crypto scams below their names. In 2021, Graham Ivan Clark, the supposed teenage mastermind behind the breach, pleaded responsible in return for a three-year jail sentence. 

In line with the Justice Division, O’Connor communicated along with his co-conspirators in that Twitter breach relating to buying unauthorized entry to Twitter accounts. He allegedly bought entry to a minimum of one Twitter account himself for $10,000. As well as, he was additionally apparently concerned within the hack of a TikTok account with thousands and thousands of followers, in addition to a Snapchat account, by way of SIM swapping. In each circumstances, O’Connor and his co-conspirators stole delicate private data from the victims after which threatened to launch them to the general public. Whereas the DOJ did not establish victims in these circumstances, The Guardian says they had been named in press reviews as TikTok star Addison Rae and actor Bella Thorne.

From March 2019 till Could 2019, O’Connor was additionally allegedly concerned within the infiltration of a Manhattan-based crypto firm to steal $794,000 value of cryptocurrency. They used SIM swapping to focus on three of the corporate’s executives and efficiently pulled it off with one among them. Utilizing the compromised govt’s credentials, they had been in a position to acquire unauthorized entry to the corporate’s accounts and laptop techniques. They then laundered the stolen cryptocurrency by transferring them a number of occasions and utilizing crypto exchanges. 

O’Connor has pleaded responsible to a prolonged record of prices, together with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit cash laundering, each of which carry a most penalty of 20 years in jail. He’s now scheduled for sentencing on June twenty third. 

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