Hacker who took over Apple's Twitter account sentenced to 3 years in prison

Apple Twitter Hack
Apple Twitter Hack (Image credit: 9to5Mac)

What you need to know

  • Graham Ivan Clark has agreed to serve a three-year prison sentence for his 2020 Twitter hack.
  • Clark had used a phishing scheme to gain access to some high-profile Twitter accounts.
  • The hacker used the accounts to steal over $100,000 in Bitcoin.

The hacker who briefly took over notable Twitter accounts like Apple, Elon Musk, Uber, and Barack Obama to steal Bitcoin last year has been sentenced to three years in prison.

As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, Graham Ivan Clark, who stole more than $100,000 in Bitcoin with the phishing scheme, has agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a three-year prison sentence.

Paperwork filed Monday in Hillsborough circuit court indicates that Graham Ivan Clark has agreed to serve three years in prison, followed by three years probation. The agreement will allow Clark, 18, to be sentenced as a "youthful offender." He may be eligible to serve some of his time in a military-style boot camp. Provisions of the plea agreement require that Clark will be barred from using computers without permission and supervision from law enforcement.

Clark, who was 17 at the time of the hack, convinced an employee at Twitter that he worked in IT at the company and gained access to admin privileges that allowed him to tweet from other accounts.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement found that he accessed Twitter's systems by convincing an employee he worked in the company's information technology department. He then managed to access the company's customer service portal. Clark used the phony tweets to direct people to send bitcoin to accounts he owned, prosecutors said. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that is difficult to track. Two others, Nima Fazeli of Orlando and Mason Sheppard of the United Kingdom, were also charged with federal crimes related to the scheme.

The hack sent the Twitter community into a frenzy last July when major accounts like Apple, Kanye West, Joe Biden, and others began tweeting that they would send people back twice the amount of Bitcoin that they sent to the account. It was a scam, of course, but Clark walked away with over $100,000 in the cryptocurrency before Twitter was able to shut it down.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.