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21-Year-Old Linked to Massive Twitter Hack

KrebsOnSecurity does a deep dive into what we know
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2020 12:03 PM CDT

(Newser) – The hackers who hit Twitter got big names such as Joe Biden and Jeff Bezos, so why not the most famous tweeter of all, President Trump? It seems that Twitter gave Trump extra protections after unspecified previous incidents, reports the New York Times. Both an administration official and a Twitter employee confirm that anonymously. More on the breach:

  • Connecting dots: The respected KrebsOnSecurity website has a detailed look at what appears to have happened. It involves a tactic known as "SIM swapping," in which hackers trick, coerce, or bribe employees at social media companies or phone companies for access to accounts. It's still unclear how it played out in this case, though Motherboard has reported that a Twitter employee was paid to help.
  • Suspect? In the detailed post, KrebsOnSecurity, with help from cybersecurity firm Unit 211B, reports that a famous SIM swapper who goes by PlugWalkJoe appears to be linked to the Twitter hack. The post identifies him as 21-year-old Joseph James Connor of Liverpool, England, who has been stranded in Spain during the pandemic. It adds that investigators have been tracking him for a while because of other SIM-swapping attacks.

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