The British teenager accused of hacking Twitter and stealing thousands of dollars in Bitcoin was today described as “a nice boy” whose father died about five years ago.
The US Department of Justice has charged 19-year-old Mason Sheppard with conspiracy to commit electronic fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and intentional access to a secure computer.
He was one of three people linked to the hack earlier this month who saw accounts belonging to Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Barack Obama hijacked and used to post links to Bitcoin wallets as well as false claims that payments would be matched.
Neighbors at the family’s £ 250,000 terraced house in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, have since said her mother Lorraine has raised Mr Sheppard on her own since the death of her husband Mark.
In the photo: the address of the family (center, white door) in Bognor Regis. The British teenager charged with the Twitter hacking was described yesterday as “a nice boy” whose father died about five years ago.
The British teenager accused of hacking Twitter and stealing thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin was today described as ‘a nice boy’ whose father died about five years ago (stock image)
A woman in her sixties, who lives on the same street but wished to remain anonymous, said: “I know Lorraine and she is adorable. I haven’t seen Mason in years but he has always been a very nice boy.
“Her father Mark passed away a few years ago – about five or six years I think.
“It’s a real shock. No one here has seen any police activity or anything.
A middle-aged woman was in the £ 250,000 three-bedroom homestead earlier today, but declined to comment on the inquiry on Twitter.
She said: “I have absolutely nothing to say. Please leave us alone. ‘
Former US President Barack Obama, the most followed account on Twitter, was among the high profile targets used to carry out the bitcoin scam
American teenager Graham Ivan Clark, 17, was arrested Friday morning in Tampa
Sheppard, also known as “Chaewon,” 19, was indicted yesterday in connection with a criminal complaint in the Northern District of California.
The charges were of conspiracy to commit electronic fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and intentional access to a protected computer.
Nima Fazeli, also known as “Rolex”, 22, of Orlando, Florida, has been charged with aiding and abetting intentional access to a protected computer.
The third defendant is a minor who will not be identified, the justice ministry said.
The scam saw more than $ 100,000 stolen, according to the Justice Department, along with the charges punishable by a maximum penalty of 45 years in prison.
US attorney David L. Anderson said, “Criminal conduct on the Internet may seem stealthy to those who commit it, but there is nothing stealthy about it.”
He continued, “There is a false belief within the criminal hacker community that attacks such as the Twitter hack can be carried out anonymously and without consequence.
US Attorney David L Anderson (pictured in 2019) previously said: “There is a false belief within the criminal hacker community that attacks such as the Twitter hack can be carried out anonymously and without consequence.”
Twitter Says Hackers ‘Manipulated’ Employees to Access 130 Accounts
Twitter said last week that hackers had “manipulated” some of its employees to gain access to accounts. More than $ 100,000 in virtual currency was sent to the email addresses mentioned in the tweets, according to Blockchain.com, which monitors crypto transactions.
“We know they have accessed tools only available to our internal support teams to target 130 Twitter accounts,” a statement posted on the Twitter blog said.
For 45 of those accounts, hackers were able to reset passwords, log in and send tweets, he added, while the personal data of up to eight unverified users was uploaded. Twitter has locked down the affected accounts and deleted the fraudulent tweets. He also closed accounts not affected by the hack as a precaution.
‘[The] The charge announcement demonstrates that the elation of infamous hacking in a secure environment for fun or profit will be short-lived.
“Criminal behavior on the Internet may seem stealthy to people who commit it, but there is nothing stealthy about it.
“In particular, I mean to potential offenders, break the law and we’ll find you.”
The criminal complaint says the attack on Twitter consisted of a combination of technical and social engineering violations.
“The result of the Twitter hack was the compromise of approximately 130 Twitter accounts belonging to politicians, celebrities and musicians,” he says.
“The hackers allegedly created a fraudulent bitcoin account, hacked VIP Twitter accounts, sent solicitations to the VIP Twitter accounts with a false promise to double any bitcoin deposit made to the fraudulent account, and then stole the bitcoin that the victims had have deposited into the fraudulent account.
“As alleged in the complaints, the fraudulent Bitcoin account received over 400 transfers worth over US $ 100,000 (£ 76,000).
“The defendants allegedly victimized VIP Twitter users whose accounts were hacked.
“The defendants are said to have victimized those who sent bitcoins in response to the fraudulent solicitations.”