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Florida Teen Arrested in Twitter Hack (nytimes.com)
46 points by uptown 50 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 15 comments

Only 17 and his life is ruined... what a shame all around. A total embarrassment to Twitter, luck to the US that it seems that it wasn't foreign actors, and technical skills that probably could have been put to better use to eventually make that money legitimately instead all goes down the drain, and possibly money never returned (?) to those scammed.

I'm sure he'll be fine. They'll let him stir in jail for a few years to break him of the notion of ever doing it again, then he'll get picked up by a three-letter agency and recruited to do the same kind of work for them as a condition for getting out of jail early.

Call me old fashioned, but being forced into public service after being made a felon for a non-violent crime seems like a terrible outcome no matter how you slice it.

This doesn't actually happen.

Yeah call my a cynic, but if a 17 year old capable of this actually got caught, It doesn’t seem that hard to do in the first place.

I wonder if someone gave them the exploit

This was phone-based spear phishing, social engineering. There was no exploit.

It did to Adrian Lamo.

There is little technical skill involved in running common scams.

If this teen was the person who did the hack, it would make more sense it was just a BTC scam. You could do _way_ more impactful (worse) things with the access he (presumably) had.

Given my current trust level towards government I find it hard to not think it's either a sacrificial lamb or a case of a kid claiming it was him and unexpectedly found himself taken seriously. I find it easy to believe it's a PR move to delay bad publicity. Worst thing today is we can't even tell that truth will be uncovered in the future because we have no transparency and no way to tell what is what.

I'm similarly skeptical of the government, but this is no Lee Harvey Oswald. There's no dead president. These "double your cash" scams are widespread and some of the least sophisticated sorts of scams. It was poorly worded and the website that was intended to give each visitor a unique wallet address (which would have made block chain analysis difficult) was not even functioning properly. There was no exploit, it was social engineering via phone. Why would the government even bother? As others have noted, more sophisticated attackers could have caused much more damage (manipulated markets, precipitated political crises, et cetera). The guy was selling Twitter usernames on a forum that people use to sell accounts. It wasn't just boasting, there are actual transactions that occurred over Discord and at ogforums.

It makes total sense in hindsight that the original aim of the hackers was not some low-netting Bitcoin scam, but it still feels unsatisfying that all they were after with such elevated access was the sale of high profile usernames.

That one is blocked for Europeans.

How did he lose control of the $700K? If he had any clue that he was being investigated why do this?

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