A young Florida-based hacker who hijacked the accounts of several high-profile users of Twitter Inc.'s (NYSE:TWTR) social media platform in a Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) scam last year pleaded guilty to state charges Tuesday and agreed to serve three years in prison, according to a report by the Tampa Bay Times.
What Happened: Graham Ivan Clark, 18, reached a deal with prosecutors to serve three years in juvenile prison followed by three years of probation, as per the report.
Clark was accused of masterminding a massive social media hack in July last year that compromised several prominent verified Twitter accounts, including those of high-profile figures such as former President Barack Obama, Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates, and companies like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as well as Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE:UBER).
Clark used the accounts to tweet fraudulent messages and solicit more than $100,000 in Bitcoin. The tweets from Musk's account said he would double any Bitcoin payments sent to a published Bitcoin address. The scheme netted about $117,000 in Bitcoin before it was shut down.
Why It Matters: The cyberattack led to concerns about the security of Twitter’s systems and was probed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The hacking, which came in an election year, was significant due to Twitter's role as a valued platform for political discussion and led to speculation that it could have been done by state-sponsored hackers.
Shortly after the incident, Twitter announced on social media that it was investigating the hack and acknowledged that some of its employees were compromised due to social engineering.
Price Action: Twitter shares closed almost 1.5% lower on Tuesday at $69.25.