A British hacker has admitted to being involved in breaking into the systems behind Twitter in July 2020. As a result, he and some accomplices were able to take over multiple accounts. Politician Geert Wilders, among others, was the victim of this.
The 23-year-old hacker, who used the pseudonym PlugwalkJoe online, was arrested in 2021 in Estepona, Spain. At the end of April, Spain extradited him to the United States. He will hear what his sentence will be on June 23. He could face several decades in prison.
As part of a settlement, the Briton has promised that he will waive nearly $ 800,000 (converted over 729,000 euros) in proceeds. He must also compensate victims. According to one of the prosecutors, the man “left an impressive trail of destruction”.
In July 2020, the hackers managed to gain access to programs that Twitter used to manage the platform. They could take control of accounts and allow others to access those accounts.
They also scammed people. For example, the profiles of companies such as Apple and Uber and prominent figures such as the then presidential candidate Joe Biden, business people such as Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg, rapper Ye and billionaire Elon Musk called for the transfer of bitcoins.
Hacker also engaged in sextortion and made false reports to the police
PlugwalkJoe managed to gain access to actress Bella Thorne’s Snapchat account in 2019. He threatened to publish nude photos of her. To take that weapon off his hands, she then published the nude photos herself. The hacker entered Addison Rae Easterling’s TikTok account in 2020. She is one of the most popular users with almost 89 million followers.
PlugwalkJoe is also being punished for sending police to a minor’s home multiple times by posing as that child and making false reports. He also stole money from a company that trades in virtual money.