UK man arrested in connection to 2020 Twitter hack that affected Apple

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

What you need to know

  • The Spanish National Police has arrested UK citizen Joseph O'Connor.
  • O'Connor was arrested for playing a part in the 2020 hack of multiple high-profile Twitter accounts.
  • Apple was one of the accounts that were hacked at the time.

Joseph O'Connor, a 22-year-old citizen of the United Kingdom, has been arrested in connection with the 2020 Twitter hack that impacted multiple high-profile accounts like Apple.

As reported by The Verge, the United States Department of Justice issued a press release announcing O'Connor's arrest. The hacker was apparently apprehended in Estepona, Spain, by Spanish National Police. In addition to his involvement in the Twitter hack, O'Connor is also being charged with hacks on TikTok and Snapchat as well as cyberstalking a juvenile.

O'Connor is charged with three counts of conspiracy to intentionally access a computer without authorization and obtaining information from a protected computer; two counts of intentionally accessing a computer without authorization and obtaining information from a protected computer; one count of conspiracy to intentionally access a computer without authorization and, with the intent to extort from a person a thing of value, transmitting a communication containing a threat; one count of making extortive communications; one count of making threatening communications; and two counts of cyberstalking. If O'Connor is convicted, a federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The July 2020 hack of Twitter affected multiple high-profile accounts including Apple, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Elon Musk, and other political figures, brands, and artists. The purpose of the hack was to scam people into sending Bitcoin to an unknown account.

All in all, the hackers made away with over $100,000 in Bitcoin after people responded to fraudulent tweets from the hacked accounts announcing that they would receive more Bitcoin than they sent.

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.