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Teen who hacked Joe Biden and Bill Gates’ Twitter accounts sentenced to three years in prison | Hacking

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An 18-year-old hacker who pulled off a huge breach in 2020, infiltrating several high profile Twitter accounts to solicit bitcoin transactions, has agreed to serve three years in prison for his actions.

Graham Ivan Clark, of Florida, was 17 years old at the time of the hack in July, during which he took over a number of major accounts including those of Joe Biden, Bill Gates and Kim Kardashian West.

Once he accessed them, Clark tweeted a link to a bitcoin address and wrote “all bitcoin sent to our address below will be sent back to you doubled!” According to court documents, Clark made more than $100,000 from the scheme, which his lawyers say he has since returned.

Clark was able to access the accounts after convincing an employee at Twitter he worked in the company’s information technology department, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Graham Ivan Clark took over a number of major accounts including that of Joe Biden.
Graham Ivan Clark took over a number of major accounts including that of Joe Biden. Photograph: Twitter

The incident represented a major security breach for the social network, which was forced to suspend all verified accounts from sending tweets for several hours while it worked to secure the platform. Clark, who was at the time a senior in high school, was arrested several days later.

As part of a deal, Clark pleaded guilty to organized fraud – which carries a maximum of 30 years in prison. He was sentenced as a “youthful offender” and will serve three years in a prison for young adults followed by three years of probation, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

He may qualify to serve part of his time in a “boot camp” alternative to prison for young offenders. During that time, he will be unable to access electronic devices without supervision or use social media. The time he has spent in jail awaiting trial for the past eight months will apply as time served.

“Graham Clark needs to be held accountable for that crime, and other potential scammers out there need to see the consequences,” Andrew Warren, the Hillsborough state attorney, said in a statement, according to the Tampa Bay Times. “In this case, we’ve been able to deliver those consequences while recognizing that our goal with any child, whenever possible, is to have them learn their lesson without destroying their future.”

Two other young men were also charged over the hack – Mason Sheppard, of the United Kingdom, and Nima Fazeli, of Orlando. Their cases continue.

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