British Man Arrested in Connection With Last Year’s Massive Twitter Hack

Twenty-two-year-old Joseph O’Conner is the fourth person to be arrested in connection with the crypto phishing scheme

Jul 21, 2021 at 5:37 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:29 p.m. UTC

Spanish officials have arrested a 22-year-old British man in connection with last July’s huge Twitter hack, in which at least 130 high-profile accounts, many belonging to celebrities, were taken over and used to promote a bitcoin scam that netted the hackers approximately $120,000. 

Joseph O’Conner, also known by his online handle PlugWalkJoe, was arrested Wednesday by the Spanish National Police in Estepona, Spain, at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He was charged with multiple counts of conspiracy and intentionally accessing a computer without authorization. 

The Twitter hack compromised the accounts of top cryptocurrency exchanges, and prominent crypto Twitter accounts (including CoinDesk), before moving on to mainstream accounts including those of Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, Kanye West, Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama. 

The accounts all tweeted a bitcoin scam, promising to double senders' bitcoin if they sent them to a specific address. 

O’Conner is the fourth co-conspirator to be arrested in connection with the hack. 

In late July 2020, officials arrested three individuals – Nima Fazeli, Mason John Sheppard, and Graham Clark – and charged them with multiple felony counts of fraud.

Seventeen-year-old Graham Clark, considered by officials to be the ringleader of the hack, was charged with 30 felonies and was sentenced to three years in prison in March. 

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.