Authorities arrest alleged 'mastermind' of massive Twitter hack, a 17-year-old from Florida

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A teenager has been arrested in Florida in connection with this month's massive Twitter hack.

Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren on Friday announced that 17-year-old Graham Clark, who lives in Tampa, Florida, was arrested "for being the mastermind behind" the July 15 Twitter hack, WFLA reports. The hack saw high-profile accounts, including those belonging to former President Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden, taken over to promote a Bitcoin scam, which involved asking followers to send money to a Bitcoin address while claiming double that amount would be returned.

Clark has been hit with 30 felony charges, including one count of organized fraud and 17 counts of communications Fraud, Warren said. He allegedly gained access to Twitter's internal controls "through compromising a Twitter employee" and then received more than $100,000 in Bitcoin using the high-profile accounts.

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No information was provided about whether Clark worked alone in the hack, but a statement said the suspect was arrested following a "complex nationwide investigation" conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice.

"Make no mistake, this was not an ordinary 17 year old," Warren said. "This was a highly sophisticated attack on a magnitude not seen before. It could have been an extremely high amount of loss."

Twitter on Friday said that "we appreciate the swift actions of law enforcement in this investigation and will continue to cooperate as the case progresses."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.