TAMPA, Fla. – A teenage boy from Tampa managed to fool a Twitter employee into helping him access the internal controls that he needed to hack the dozens of verified accounts, prosecutors said. The long list of prominent people the 17-year-old boy was able to hack included Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa.
FBI agents identified the hacker as Graham Ivan Clark and accused him of selling access to the accounts. Clark told Nima Fazeli, 22, of Orlando that he was an employee for Twitter, prosecutors said. Fazeli allegedly connected with Clark on the Discord platform, which allows users to set up invite-only channels.
“While investigations into cyber breaches can sometimes take years, our investigators were able to bring these hackers into custody in a matter of weeks,” San Francisco FBI Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett said in a statement.
According to the FBI, the hackers known as “Kirk#5270″ from Tampa and “Rolex” from Orlando participated in a scam that netted $100,000 in Bitcoin on July 15.
The Department of Justice handed over Clark’s case to the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office because Florida laws allow them to charge Clark as an adult. Fazeli’s case is in California.
Clark is facing 17 counts of felony communications fraud and 10 counts of identity theft. He is also facing charges of hacking, aggravated identity theft, organized fraud over $50,000, and unlawful access to a computer in furtherance of a scheme to defraud.
Fazeli is facing a charge of aiding and abetting the intentional access of a protected computer.