The Hacker Behind the Twitter Breach in July Was Also Responsible for Scamming Minecraft Players
On July 15, Twitter experienced perhaps the largest security breach in the app’s history. A teenager from Florida ran a bitcoin scam, using several high-profile, verified accounts such as Kanye West, Joe Biden, and Elon Musk. The hacker is facing criminal charges, but evidently, this isn’t his first rodeo. Back in 2016, he was well known among the Minecraft community for swindling fellow players.
The History of Minecraft Scams
The teen gained a significant YouTube following back in 2016, under the name “Open” or “OpenHFC.” He gained a reputation for swindling other players and fellow YouTubers early on. He offered things such as MineCon capes or even his username to fans; then he would take their money and become a phantom of the internet. A few YouTubers who fell victim to this actually made videos about their experience with him.
One of his victims, Nick Jerome, spoke to the New York Times about his experience. He paid the hacker $100 with the hopes of getting his username. It never happened, of course, and “Open” ghosted him along with the rest. He told the NYT, “I was just kind of a dumb teenager, and looking back, there’s no way I should have ever done this.”
How Did He Go From Minecraft to Twitter?
The Twitter breach seems to be quite a leap from simple scams involving lesser-known people. After all, these accounts he hacked aren’t just some YouTubers. Two of the ones mentioned above are presidential candidates.
Apparently, he did have the help of two other hackers. According to Twitter, the attack involved exploitation of a few employees.
They tweeted on July 30, “The attack on July 15, 2020, targeted a small number of employees through a phone spear phishing attack. This attack relied on a significant and concerted attempt to mislead certain employees and exploit human vulnerabilities to gain access to our internal systems.” The company also assured users of an update later, depending on how the investigation goes with law enforcement.