Joseph James O’Connor has pleaded guilty to enjoying a task in varied cybercrime actions, together with the July 2020 hack that took over a whole bunch of high-profile Twitter accounts. O’Connor, who’s recognized by the title PlugwalkJoe on-line, was initially from Liverpool, however he was extradited from Spain to the US in April. In the event you’ll recall, the perpetrators of the 2020 Twitter hack hijacked accounts owned by well-liked personalities, together with Invoice Gates, Barack Obama and Elon Musk, and promoted crypto scams underneath their names. In 2021, Graham Ivan Clark, the supposed teenage mastermind behind the breach, pleaded guilty in return for a three-year jail sentence.
In keeping with the Justice Division, O’Connor communicated along with his co-conspirators in that Twitter breach relating to buying unauthorized entry to Twitter accounts. He allegedly bought entry to at the least one Twitter account himself for $10,000. As well as, he was additionally apparently concerned within the hack of a TikTok account with hundreds of thousands of followers, in addition to a Snapchat account, through SIM swapping. In each instances, O’Connor and his co-conspirators stole delicate private data from the victims after which threatened to launch them to the general public. Whereas the DOJ did not determine victims in these instances, The Guardian says they have been named in press reviews as TikTok star Addison Rae and actor Bella Thorne.
From March 2019 till Might 2019, O’Connor was additionally allegedly concerned within the infiltration of a Manhattan-based crypto firm to steal $794,000 value of cryptocurrency. They used SIM swapping to focus on three of the corporate’s executives and efficiently pulled it off with certainly one of them. Utilizing the compromised government’s credentials, they have been in a position to acquire unauthorized entry to the corporate’s accounts and pc methods. They then laundered the stolen cryptocurrency by transferring them a number of instances and utilizing crypto exchanges.
O’Connor has pleaded responsible to a prolonged checklist of expenses, together with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit cash laundering, each of which carry a most penalty of 20 years in jail. He’s now scheduled for sentencing on June twenty third.
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