British man confesses to massive 2020 Twitter hack; Geert Wilders among affected
Joseph James O’Connor, a 23-year-old British man, confessed to involvement in a major Twitter hack in July 2020. He and his accomplices took over 130 Twitter accounts, trying to scam people for Bitcoin. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Geert Wilders were among the people affected, NOS reports.
The Wilders hack wasn’t part of the Bitcoin scam, but the perpetrator said he received help from the people behind the American hack. He changed Wilders’ profile pic to a horrible caricature of a black man and his cover to a picture of the Moroccan flag.
O’Connor used the pseudonym PlugwalkJoe online. He was arrested in Spain in 2021 and extradited to the United States at the end of April 2023. The American authorities are charging him with several crimes, for which he could face up to 70 years in prison.
In addition to O’Connor, another Brit, and two Americans have been charged with the Bitcoin scam in recent years.
The Twitter hack is not the only online crime to PlugwalkJoe’s name. In 2019, he hacked into actress Bella Thorne’s Snapchat account and threatened to publish nude photos of her. Thorne posted the photos herself to take his power away. In 2020, he hacked into the Tiktok account of Adison Rae Easterling, the platform’s most popular user with nearly 89 million followers.
PlugwalkJoe is also charged with sending police to a child’s home multiple times by posing as that child and making false reports. He also allegedly stole money from a company that trades in cryptocurrency. The prosecutors spoke of “an impressive trail of destruction.”
The court will sentence O’Coner on June 23.