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The breach that shook the world

In an unprecedented cyber attack that rocked the social media world, PlugwalkJoe, a 23-year-old British man named Joseph James O’Connor, hacked over 100 Twitter accounts, including those of powerful figures such as Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian, and Elon Musk. The hack, which took place in July 2020, caused widespread panic and sparked fears about the security of social media platforms.

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The charges pile up

O’Connor’s illicit activities did not end with the Twitter hack. He also confessed to cyberstalking and other nefarious schemes. Recently extradited from Spain, he now faces charges alongside three other individuals: fellow Briton Mason Sheppard, as well as Americans Graham Ivan Clark and Nima Fazeli. Sheppard is being charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and intentionally accessing a protected computer.

The potential consequences are dire

The implications of O’Connor’s actions are staggering, and the charges against him reflect this. If convicted, he could face more than 70 years in prison. The United States Department of Justice has publicly stated that O’Connor’s behaviour was “flagrant and malicious,” causing considerable harm and distress to his victims. One prosecutor noted that O’Connor “harassed, threatened, and extorted his victims, causing substantial emotional harm”.

A cunning plan

How did the hackers manage to pull off such a high-profile and damaging attack? By using social engineering techniques to gain access to the Twitter accounts, they were able to send out tweets asking followers to send bitcoin to an account, with the promise of doubling their money. The hackers were also able to gain access to a prominent TikTok account and use technology to stalk a minor. In light of this sophisticated and chilling attack, the world is left wondering what other insidious plots cybercriminals have in store.

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Hi I'm Oliver Smith, I would say that I take great pride in my work as a journalist and strive to produce high-quality, impactful stories that make a difference. With more than eight years of experience under my belt, I am passionate about uncovering the truth and shining a light on issues that matter.


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