A BRITISH man has been arrested today over a massive Twitter hack that targeted some of the world’s most famous people in a Bitcoin scam.
Joseph O’Connor, 22, is facing 10 federal charges in connection with the 2020 hack.
Among the 130 Twitter accounts targeted were those of US President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian and Bill Gates.
O’Connor was arrested in Spain.
The US Justice Department said the National Crime Agency and the Spanish National Police helped with the investigation.
The Justice Department said O’Connor is facing charges in a California federal court.
During the hacking, accounts urged people to send $1,000 (£794) in cryptocurrency Bitcoin to an online account.
Users were promised their money would then be doubled and returned to them.
The message read: “I am giving back to my community due to Covid-19!
“All Bitcoin sent to my address below will be sent back doubled.
“If you send $1,000, I will send back $2,000!
“Only doing this for the next 30 minutes! Enjoy.”
The thieves also managed to hack the world’s richest man, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, along with the second richest, ex-Microsoft chief Gates, and the fourth wealthiest, investor Warren Buffet.
Huge corporations Apple and Uber were also compromised.
Twitter took the incredible step of temporarily blocking all verified accounts from tweeting for a short while and shares fell nearly four per cent.
Twitter users around the world reported issues with the in the hours after the attack.
But the company has now confirmed “most accounts” are able to tweet again – although they added that functionality “may come and go”.
The company’s CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted: “Tough day for us at Twitter.
“We all feel terrible this happened.”
Kanye West’s account was hacked twice in the space of an hour with the same message posted.
Most of the tweets were deleted within a number of minutes, but many had been retweeted thousands of times.
The scale suggests crooks were able to totally bypass Twitter’s security.
Twitter later revealed some of its employees with access to internal systems had been targeted by a “coordinated social engineering attack”.
Graham Clark, 18, was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud charges related to the hack.
In addition to O’Connor, two other people were arrested in connection with the incident last year.