British Twitter Hacker Gets Five-year Jail Term

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  • A British hacker who was part of the 2020 Twitter hack gang has been hade a five-year jail sentence
  • Joseph O’Connor pleaded guilty to multiple crimes including SIM swap attacks and cyberstalking
  • The hack itself made global headlines but only landed the gang 13

The British hacker who was part of the gang that compromised over 130 accounts and tricked followers into handing over 13 in July 2020 has been handed a five-year jail term in the US. Joseph O’Connor was identified in July 2021 as an additional member following a tip-off from a rival hacker gang and pleaded guilty to two charges earlier this year, avoiding the maximum sentence in the process. 

O’Connor Was Grassed Up by Other Members

When three members of the hacking gang were apprehended for their stunt in late July 2020, O’Connor’s name did not appear to be on the authorities’ radar. The group was caught after a rival hacker collective released a database containing stolen user information from a hacking forum, which led to the trio being apprehended.

O’Connor’s involvement in the attack came to light in FBI interviews, with one or more of the trio identifying O’Connor and claiming that he told them he could gain access to certain Twitter accounts, including possibly that of former President Donald Trump. 

Multiple Accounts Impersonated

Using the compromised accounts, the hackers disseminated fraudulent messages, including ones from notable figures such as Barak Obama and Elon Musk, urging individuals to transfer cryptocurrency to various accounts. As a result, they received a sum of approximately $117,000 through 415 transfers. Additionally, two other Bitcoin addresses were used, which amassed $6,700 through 100 transactions.

O’Connor pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit computer hacking and the theft of cryptocurrencies via a SIM swap attack, his role in the 2020 Twitter hack, cyberstalking, and computer intrusions related to takeovers of TikTok and Snapchat user accounts.