A 16-year-old boy may have played a key role in the unprecedented hack that caused chaos on Twitter in July, a new report says.
Authorities believe the Massachusetts teen helped execute some of the most complex pieces of the July 15 hack that took over the Twitter accounts of Kanye West, Elon Musk and several other high-profile figures, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
The young hacker worked with 17-year-old Graham Clark — the alleged mastermind behind the attack — in May to dupe Twitter staffers into giving them login information that helped them carry out the hack, according to the paper. The Times did not name the teen because he’s so young and hasn’t been charged.
An FBI spokesman told The Times that the feds executed a search warrant Tuesday at the Massachusetts home where the boy and his parents live. Bay State authorities will likely handle the case if he’s arrested because they’re better able than the feds to charge minors as adults, the paper reported.
The FBI’s Boston office declined to comment Wednesday morning, and the bureau’s national headquarters did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Twitter declined to comment.
Authorities have charged Clark and two others — Mason Sheppard of the UK and Nima Fazeli of Orlando, Florida — for their alleged roles in the hack, which forced Twitter to block verified users from posting while it investigated what happened.
Clark, who has pleaded not guilty, allegedly broke into 45 accounts — including those belonging to Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden and companies such as Apple — as part of a bitcoin scam that appeared to collect more than $100,000.
The bogus tweets asked the users’ followers to send money to bitcoin wallets and promised that they’d get twice as much money back. Twitter called the incident a “coordinated social engineering attack” that targeted company employees with access to internal tools.