Federal prosecutors on Wednesday unsealed an indictment in opposition to a 22-year-old British man accused of stealing $784,000 in cryptocurrency from a Manhattan-based holding firm.
U.S. attorneys within the Southern District of New York say Joseph James O’Connor and his associates SIM-swapped three executives between March and Might in 2019 at an organization that maintained cryptocurrency pockets infrastructure for numerous worldwide exchanges. SIM-swapping happens when an attacker takes management of a sufferer’s cellphone quantity by linking the quantity to a tool managed by the attacker.
CyberScoop couldn’t instantly find an lawyer for O’Connor.
The operation netted the group numerous quantities of litecoin, ethereum, and bitcoin totaling roughly $784,000. The indictment, initially filed on Aug. 25, prices O’Connor with conspiracy to commit laptop hacking, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, aggravated identification theft and conspiracy to commit cash laundering.
O’Connor — also called “PlugWalkJoe” — was arrested in Spain in July after being accused by the U.S. authorities of hacking greater than 100 Twitter and TikTok accounts in July 2020 belonging to celebrities and distinguished figures, together with former President Barack Obama, Kanye West, and Elon Musk. As soon as they’d management of the accounts, O’Connor and his associates allegedly used that entry as part of a scam to hunt bitcoin donation from the general public. O’Connor was additionally accused of extortion and cyber stalking in that case.
O’Connor denied involvement within the Twitter account theft in a 2020 interview with The New York Times. “I don’t care. They will come arrest me. I’d snicker at them. I haven’t finished something.”
Prosecutors mentioned they’re searching for O’Connor’s extradition from Spain to face the costs in the united statesfor each instances.