Twitter hacker and crypto scammer receives five-year prison sentence

On Friday, a federal court sentenced a hacker to five years in prison for his involvement in the cyber attack. Last month, the 24-year-old, known as PlugwalkJoe online, pleaded guilty to a host of cyber crimes, including carrying out a SIM-swapping attack that targeted a TikTok account with millions of followers. The 2020 Twitter hack saw O’Conner and his co-perpetrators obtain access to the company’s backend and subsequently the accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, and more than 100 other high-profile users. O’Conner netted $794,000 in the crypto scam that followed.

“After stealing and fraudulently diverting the stolen cryptocurrency, O’Connor and his co-conspirators laundered it through dozens of transfers and transactions and exchanged some of it for Bitcoin using cryptocurrency exchange services,” the Justice Department said. “Ultimately, a portion of the stolen cryptocurrency was deposited into a cryptocurrency exchange account controlled by O’Connor.” In 2021, Graham Ivan Clark, the alleged teenage mastermind behind the breach, reached a plea deal in return for a three-year prison sentence. In addition to his five-year sentence, O’Conner also faces three years of supervised release after his prison term. He must also forfeit the $794,000 he defrauded during the hack.

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