Joseph O’Connor, a 22-year-old British citizen who uses “PlugWalkJoe,” was arrested in Spain on Wednesday for his connection to the 2020 Twitter hack that compromised the accounts of former President Barack Obama and Elon Musk, and went there. ran off with over $100,000 in Bitcoin. In a press release announcing the arrest, the US Department of Justice writes that O’Connor is also charged with “computer hacks related to takeovers of TikTok and Snapchat user accounts.”
O’Connor was arrested on multiple charges of conspiracy and illegal access to computers without authorization, and “with intent to extort anything of value from any person, sending a communication containing a threat,” among several other charges , writes the Ministry of Justice. . According to Krebs on securityO’Connor was a well-known SIM swapper, a method of hijacking valuable social media accounts by manipulating mobile network workers to duplicate phone numbers so that hackers can intercept two-factor authorization requests.
In an interview for The New York Times conducted with several hackers involved in the Twitter breach, O’Connor openly identified himself as “PlugWalkJoe” and confirmed that the hackers obtained Twitter credentials to take over the accounts through an internal company Slack. At the time, O’Connor was fairly optimistic about his involvement and apparent safety: “They can come and arrest me. I would laugh at them. I didn’t do anything,” he told the… turn.
Today’s arrest is just the latest in the fallout from the rift. Graham Ivan Clark, the “teen brain” of the whole plan, was arrested last July along with Nima “Rolex” Fazeli and Mason “Chaewon” Sheppard. Clark has since been sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the hack.