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Twitter hackers charged – 17-year-old Florida teen, 19-year-old UK teen, and 22-year-old Floridian arrested today.

Twitter Florida Hacker

The massive Twitter security breach that took over the accounts of President Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Kanye, Apple and more on July 15th. The one that appeared to be the work of a hoard of state-sponsored attackers or an organized crime outfit. Yeah, it was two teens and a 22-year-old from Florida. And they’re throwing dozens of charges at them before they, you know, ultimately hire them to work for the government.

Early this morning, the FBI, IRS, US Secret Service, and Florida law enforcement placed 17-year-old Graham Ivan Clark from Tampa, Florida (Hillsborough County) [Geek Slop guild members, see additional secured information, including unredacted arrest documents, below], under arrest — accusing him of being the “mastermind” behind the biggest security breach in Twitter’s history. Shortly after the arrest, two more individuals were formally charged by the US Department of Justice, including 22-year-old Nima Fazeli in Orlando and 19-year-old Mason Sheppard in the UK. They go by the hacker aliases “Rolex” and “Chaewon” respectively, according to the DOJ.

Geek Slop Guild Members: Reports indicated 17-year-old Graham Ivan Clark of Tampa, Florida (Hillsborough County), was arrested. He will be charged as an adult. Federal authorities were already tracking Mr. Clark before the Twitter hack. In April, the Secret Service seized over $700,000 worth of Bitcoin from him, according to legal documents.

Fazell faces 5 years in prision and a $250,000 fine for one count of computer intrusion. Shepard faces three charges – computer intrusion, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy and faces a 20-year sentence and a $250,000 fine. According to documents, Sheppard had used a personal drivers’ license to verify himself with the Binance and Coinbase cryptocurrency exchanges, and his accounts were found to have sent and received some of the scammed Bitcoins. So it seems like he and maybe Fazell turned evidence over to the feds about Clark who faces the steepest charges. Clark, who had just graduated high school, is being charged with over 30 felony accounts including organized fraud, communications fraud, identity theft, and hacking. He is being charged as an adult in the case.

it’s worthy to note also that part of the information used in the case came from the OGUsers forum database that was hacked around April 2020, right after this whole debacle began. The FBI claims that they “obtained a copy of this database” which contained public forum postings, ip addresses, email addresses, etc. This led them to Mason Shepherd.

Also, it seems as if a fourth person from California could be involved, possibly as a participant in the scam that agreed to turn evidence over to the authorities.

In addition to scamming users out of Bitcoin, the attackers accessed the private direct messages of 36 Twitter users, including one elected official, and may have downloaded even larger caches of data for 7 other users.

Finally, it’s important to note that Discord participated in the arrests too. On July 17, 2020, according to legal documents, Discord “provided the content of Discord messaging accounts, which included Discord chats”.

Here is the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office press release.

Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office tapped to prosecute worldwide “Bit-Con” hack of prominent Twitter users

Tampa, FL (July 31, 2020) — Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren has filed 30 felony charges against a Tampa resident for scamming people across America, perpetrating the “Bit-Con” hack of prominent Twitter accounts including Bill Gates, Barack Obama, and Elon Musk on July 15, 2020.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice conducted a complex nationwide investigation, locating and apprehending the suspect in Hillsborough County.

“These crimes were perpetrated using the names of famous people and celebrities, but they’re not the primary victims here. This ‘Bit-Con’ was designed to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country, including here in Florida. This massive fraud was orchestrated right here in our backyard, and we will not stand for that,” State Attorney Warren said.

The investigation revealed REDACTED, 17, was the mastermind of the recent hack of Twitter. He was arrested in Tampa early on July 31. REDACTED’s scheme to defraud stole the identities of prominent people, posted messages in their names directing victims to send Bitcoin to accounts associated with REDACTED, and reaped more than $100,000 in Bitcoin in just one day. As a cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is difficult to track and recover if stolen in a scam.

“I want to congratulate our federal law enforcement partners—the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, the FBI, the IRS, and the Secret Service—as well as the Florida Department of Law enforcement. They worked quickly to investigate and identify the perpetrator of a sophisticated and extensive fraud,” State Attorney Warren said.

“This defendant lives here in Tampa, he committed the crime here, and he’ll be prosecuted here,” Warren added. The Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office is prosecuting REDACTED because Florida law allows minors to be charged as adults in financial fraud cases such as this when appropriate. The FBI and Department of Justice will continue to partner with the office throughout the prosecution.

The specific charges REDACTED faces are:

ORGANIZED FRAUD (OVER $50,000) – 1 count





“Working together, we will hold this defendant accountable,” Warren said. “Scamming people out of their hard-earned money is always wrong. Whether you’re taking advantage of someone in person or on the internet, trying to steal their cash or their cryptocurrency—it’s fraud, it’s illegal, and you won’t get away with it.”

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“Unbreakable” WWII secret message attached to carrier pigeon skeletal leg may have been broken

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Skeletal remains of WWII carrier pigeonRemember the top secret World War II code we reported on earlier – the encrypted code that was found in a capsule attached to a carrier pigeon’s skeletal leg in a chimney?  The top-secret coded message that British intelligence said could never be cracked without the proper code book?  As it turns out, they may have been wrong on two counts.  Gord Young, from Peterborough, in Ontario, says it took him 17 minutes to decipher the message after realizing a WWI Royal Flying Corp [92 Sqd-Canadian] aerial observers’ book he inherited from his great-uncle was the key – not a World War II code book as top British codebreakers at GCHQ had originally thought.

Sent to “XO2″ at 16:45, the encrypted message reads:








Signed “Sjt W Stot,” the message features two more codes at the end: NURP.40.TW.194 and NURP.37.OK.76.

According to Young, the decrypted message from 1944 uses a simple World War I code (not World War II), and a lot of acronyms (common in WWI coded messages), to detail German troop positions in Normandy.  After decryption, the message reads (which stills seems a bit convoluted to me):

“Artillery observer at ‘K’ Sector, Normandy. Requested headquarters supplement report. Panzer attack – blitz. West Artillery Observer Tracking Attack.

Lt Knows extra guns are here. Know where local dispatch station is. Determined where Jerry’s headquarters front posts. Right battery headquarters right here.

Found headquarters infantry right here. Final note, confirming, found Jerry’s whereabouts. Go over field notes. Counter measures against Panzers not working.

Jerry’s right battery central headquarters here. Artillery observer at ‘K’ sector Normandy. Mortar, infantry attack panzers.

Hit Jerry’s Right or Reserve Battery Here. Already know electrical engineers headquarters. Troops, panzers, batteries, engineers, here. Final note known to headquarters.”

A spokesman for British GCHQ stood by their claim that the code was unbreakable:

“We stand by our statement of 22 November 2012 that without access to the relevant codebooks and details of any additional encryption used, the message will remain impossible to decrypt.”

Gord Young disagrees:

“Folks are trying to over-think this matter. It’s not complex.”

Sources: BBC
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Tim Berners-Lee’s Web Index rates countries

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Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, has a new pet project that he hopes will shape the Internet of the future.  His project, the “Web Index” measures and ranks over 60 countries on three broad states.  These include: web readiness, such as infrastructure; web use, the quantity of web content available; and web impact, including social-media interactions and business use.  As Web Index explains,

Designed and produced by the World Wide Web Foundation, the Web Index is the world’s first multi-dimensional measure of the Web’s growth, utility and impact on people and nations. It covers 61 developed and developing countries, incorporating indicators that assess the political, economic and social impact of the Web, as well as indicators of Web connectivity and infrastructure.

For 2012, the Web Index puts Sweden at the top, above the United States and the United Kingdom.  Sweden scored high on “impact” while the United States scored on high on web content.  The UK was rated high for having faster than average broadband speeds.


The 2012 rankings for the top five are:


Top 5 Web Index Rankings