Joseph James O’Connor, also known as PlugwalkJoe, has been sentenced to five years in prison in the United States for his involvement in a major cyber attack on the social network Twitter. As part of his sentence, O’Connor is required to repay nearly $800,000 to the victims of his cryptocurrency fraud.
Twitter Attack: Unveiling the Masterminds and Impact of a Notorious Cybercrime
The attack orchestrated by O’Connor and his associates took place in July 2020 and involved the use of social engineering techniques to deceive Twitter employees and gain unauthorized access to the company’s backend systems. Subsequently, they took control of numerous high-profile accounts, including those belonging to prominent figures such as Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Barack Obama. By posting fraudulent tweets claiming to double Bitcoin transfers, they managed to swindle approximately $120,000 from unsuspecting users.
O’Connor has also confessed to perpetrating a SIM-swapping attack, which involves intercepting the calls and messages of the victim, as well as hacking into a TikTok account with millions of followers. Additionally, he has faced allegations of cyberstalking two individuals, including a minor.
It is worth noting that O’Connor was not acting alone in the Twitter attack. Another individual, 18-year-old Graham Ivan Clark, known as Kirk, has already been sentenced to a three-year prison term and is believed to be the mastermind behind the operation. Two other suspects, Nima Fazeli (Rolex) and Mason Sheppard (Chaewon), are currently awaiting trial.
The Twitter attack garnered significant attention due to its high-profile nature, making it one of the most notable incidents in the history of cybercrime. This incident exposed the vulnerabilities of social networks and highlighted how easily public opinion and trust can be manipulated. Cybersecurity experts emphasize the importance for companies to safeguard their systems and provide comprehensive education to their employees regarding potential threats.