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HACKER GUILTY: U.K. Citizen Extradited and Pleads Guilty to Cyber Crime Offences

HACKER GUILTY: U.K. Citizen Extradited and Pleads Guilty to Cyber Crime Offences
Syndicated By: Iain Fraser - Cybersecurity Journalist Gibraltar

A U.K. citizen pleaded guilty today in New York to his role in cyber-stalking and multiple schemes that involve computer hacking, including the July 2020 hack of Twitter. Joseph James O’Connor, aka PlugwalkJoe, 23, was extradited from Spain on April 26.

“O’Connor’s criminal activities were flagrant and malicious, and his conduct impacted multiple people’s lives. He harassed, threatened, and extorted his victims, causing substantial emotional harm,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Like many criminal actors, O’Connor tried to stay anonymous by using a computer to hide behind stealth accounts and aliases from outside the United States. But this plea shows that our investigators and prosecutors will identify, locate, and bring to justice such criminals to ensure they face the consequences for their crimes.”

“O’Connor has left an impressive trail of destruction in the wake of his wave of criminality,” said U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey for the Northern District of California. “This case serves as a warning that the reach of the law is long, and criminals anywhere who use computers to commit crimes may end up facing the consequences of their actions in places they did not anticipate.”  

“O’Connor used his sophisticated technological abilities for malicious purposes – conducting a complex SIM swap attack to steal large amounts of cryptocurrency, hacking Twitter, conducting computer intrusions to take over social media accounts, and even cyber-stalking two victims, including a minor victim,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York. “O’Connor’s guilty plea today is a testament to the importance of law enforcement cooperation, and I thank our law enforcement partners for helping to bring to justice those who victimise others through cyber-attacks.” 

“Today’s guilty plea is confirmation that the FBI’s strategy to counter cyber crime is working. It’s also indicative of what can be accomplished when we work closely with our partners to bring these perpetrators to justice and make the cyber ecosystem more secure,” said Assistant Director Bryan Vorndran of the FBI’s Cyber Division. “O'Connor's extradition is as a warning to all dangerous cyber criminals that the FBI will work tirelessly to find them and hold them accountable wherever in the world they may try to hide.”

Image Credit: Kidfly182

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