Twitter hacker sentenced to five years in prison for crypto scam
On Friday, a federal court handed down a sentence of five years in prison to Joseph James O’Connor, a 24-year-old individual known as PlugwalkJoe online, for his involvement in the high-profile 2020 Twitter hack. Last month, O’Connor pleaded guilty to several cyber crimes, including carrying out a SIM-swapping attack that targeted a TikTok account boasting millions of followers. The Twitter breach allowed O’Connor and his accomplices to gain unauthorized access to the company’s backend, subsequently compromising the accounts of prominent individuals such as Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Barack Obama, along with over 100 other notable users. O’Connor managed to amass $794,000 through the subsequent crypto scam.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, “After stealing and fraudulently diverting the stolen cryptocurrency, O’Connor and his co-conspirators laundered it through dozens of transfers and transactions and exchanged some of it for Bitcoin using cryptocurrency exchange services.” The investigation revealed that a portion of the stolen cryptocurrency was ultimately deposited into a cryptocurrency exchange account controlled by O’Connor.