The 17-year-old boy is said to be the brain of the hack. It is not clear whether the group was dealing with just three people, or whether the US justice system has any other suspects in its sights.
At the same time, the accounts of dozens of world leaders and other prominent figures were hacked. Their account included a link to a shady website offering a deal with bitcoins. Anyone who would deposit an amount in bitcoins was supposedly refunded that amount doubled.
Hundreds of millions of followers
Hundreds of millions of people were exposed to the fraudulent link by the massive reach of prominent hacked twitterers including Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Bill Gates.
It is not known how many people got caught in the scam attempt, but the hackers are said to have captured a lot of money.
According to American media, thirty charges have been brought against the boy. In the Florida legal system, he can be tried as an adult.
Earlier today, Twitter revealed more details about the hack’s background. Employees of the company are said to have fallen victim to ‘spear phishing’, a method in which employees are approached very specifically. In this way, the hackers try to find out the login details of those employees.
A few employees stepped in on the trick, causing the hackers to obtain passwords to use internal staff resources. These could then be exploited to attack 130 Twitter accounts. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders’ account was hacked, among other things.