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UK citizen pleads guilty to cybercrime with over $794k in losses

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UK citizen Joseph James O’Connor will spend many years behind bars after pleading guilty to orchestrating SIM swapping and other cyber attacks that defrauded victims of $794,000 in crypto.

Joseph James O’Connor, a 23-year-old notorious cyber criminal who orchestrated the July 2020 high-profile Twitter hack that enabled the stealing of thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptos from victims via a fake giveaway campaign.

According to a May 9 statement by the US Department of Justice, O’Connor, a sophisticated cybercriminals, was extradited from Spain on April 23. He pleaded guilty to allegations against him, including conspiracy to commit computer hacking, cyber intrusion, cyberstalking, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and more.

In addition to hijacking the Twitter accounts of celebrities like Elon Musk and others to post fake crypto giveaway scams, O’Connor and his co-conspirators reportedly used highly sophisticated SIM-swapping techniques to steal over $794k in crypto from an unnamed Manhattan-based firm.

“Joseph O’Connor, a.k.a PlugwalkJoe used his sophisticated technological abilities for malicious purposes – conducting a complex SIM swap attack to steal large amounts of crypto, hacking Twitter, conducting computer intrusions to take over social media accounts, and even cyberstalking two victims, including  a minor victim.”

US Attorney Damiam Williams

O’Connor will be sentenced on June 23, 2023, by Judge Rakoff of the Southern District of New York. If convicted of all charges, O’Connor and his co-conspirators could spend over 20 years behind bars.

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