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Young Florida Man Sentenced to Prison for Epic Twitter Scandal

Image Credit: TechCrunch

In an interesting turn of events today, a young man from Florida, just 22, found himself on the receiving end of a three-year prison sentence. His crime? He masterminded a colossal Twitter hack last year that left quite a few celebrities, including the likes of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden, scrambling to regain control over their Twitter accounts.

The man, named Graham Ivan Clark, admitted to a bunch of state-level charges that included organized fraud, communications fraud, and identity theft involving sums over $5,000. This admission formed part of a deal he struck with Florida prosecutors, which ultimately led to his sentencing.

Here’s how it all unfolded: Last July, Clark managed to sneak into Twitter’s internal systems and seized control of the Twitter handles of some of the most influential personalities worldwide. Following the takeover, he deftly tricked people into parting with their Bitcoin, amassing a staggering sum exceeding $120,000 within a single day.

In the words of State Attorney Andrew Warren, “Graham Clark’s misdeeds were of considerable magnitude, involving highjacking of Twitter handles belonging to celebrities and using them to dupe people into parting with their money.” Warren further added, “Such manipulative and harmful acts were undeniably criminal, and it’s time for Clark to face the music for his actions.”

Twitter later revealed how the hackers had wormed their way in, targeting employees who had access to account support tools. This access allowed them to send tweets from 45 high-profile accounts, most of them verified, making the tweets visible to the billion-plus followers of these accounts.

As per court documents, Clark managed to extract over $117,000 worth of Bitcoin by tricking more than 375 individuals through this massive hack. This year, the young man confessed to over 30 felony charges and has been acknowledged for the time he served since his arrest in July 2020. The ruling judge also mandated Clark to complete 3 years of supervised release, contribute 200 hours of community service, and repay his victims more than $500,000 once he is released from prison.

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