September 16, 2021

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Judge jails suspect needed by US in 2020 Twitter hack

2 min read

MADRID (AP) — A British gentleman needed in the United States in relationship with a Twitter hack that compromised dozens of influential accounts has been jailed in Spain even though he awaits feasible extradition.

Joseph O’Connor, 22, appeared in advance of a Spanish National Courtroom judge Thursday and refused to be transferred to the U.S. voluntarily, a courtroom spokesman informed The Related Push.

U.S. prosecutors accuse O’Connor of involvement in a July 2020 hack of additional than 130 accounts, together with those people of popular politicians, celebrities and know-how moguls.

A legal complaint filed in federal court docket in the Northern District of California also prices O’Connor for allegedly taking above TikTok and Snapchat accounts, as effectively as cyberstalking a juvenile.

O’Connor has denied wrongdoing in earlier interviews. No attorneys defending him could be positioned right away.

The Madrid-centered Countrywide Courtroom handles extradition requests in Spain. A court spokesperson mentioned Choose Santiago Pedraz deemed the rates against O’Connor grave ample to warrant maintaining him in custody and protecting against him from trying to flee during the extradition approach.

The spokesperson was not authorized to be named in media reports.

Extradition requests can choose months to resolve and entail both of those a judicial assessment and the Spanish Cabinet’s acceptance.

The FBI educated Spanish authorities about O’Connor’s alleged involvement in final year’s hack, the National Law enforcement stated in a press release. It explained Spanish and U.S. brokers took part in his arrest and search of the suspect’s residence, confiscating two computers and a mobile telephone.

The U.S. felony criticism billed O’Connor — who went by the on the internet deal with PlugWalkJoe — with crimes together with cyberstalking, earning extortive and threatening communications and intentionally accessing a laptop or computer with out authorization.

Through the significant-profile stability breach a year back, pretend tweets ended up despatched from the accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg and a quantity of tech billionaires together with Amazon’s then-CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Invoice Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

The bogus tweets asked followers of significant-profile accounts to deliver Bitcoin payments. O’Connor is at minimum the fourth suspect charged in connection with the hack.

Spain’s Nationwide Police stated Thursday that O’Connor was permanently residing in Marbella, another southern coastal city popular with international inhabitants and that he had been on their radar at least because April 2020 as portion of an alleged legal team committing fraud on the internet.

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