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UK man accused in 2020 Twitter hack of politician, celebrity, and company accounts

Twitter
Posted at 3:26 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 17:26:45-04

MADRID — A United Kingdom man is in a Spanish jail at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice in connection with the July 2020 Twitter hack that resulted in more than 130 accounts of politicians, celebrities, and companies being compromised.

Joseph O'Connor is now waiting for possible extradition; in a court hearing in Spain Thursday, the 22-year-old refused to be transferred to the U.S. voluntarily.

The DOJ says O'Connor is charged with several counts, including conspiracy to intentionally access a computer without authorization, transmitting a communication containing a threat, making threatening communications, and cyberstalking.

During the hack in 2020, bogus tweets were sent from high-profile accounts asking followers to send Bitcoin payments. The fake tweets were sent from many accounts, including former President Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Elon Musk.

O'Connor is at least the fourth suspect to face charges in connection with the incident. He has denied any wrongdoing.