Suspected mastermind of Twitter hack pleads not guilty

17-year-old suspected mastermind of Twitter hack pleads not guilty to allegations he hijacked celebrity accounts.

Elad Benari ,


The suspected teenage mastermind of a huge Twitter hack pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to allegations he hijacked celebrity accounts to swindle people out of more than $100,000 in a cryptocurrency scheme, AFP reported.

The 17-year-old Tampa, Florida resident pleaded not guilty before a state court, during a short hearing conducted via videoconference.

He was arrested on Friday along with two others, aged 19 and 22, one of whom lives in Britain, and was charged with cyber fraud.

Investigators viewed the 17-year-old as the mastermind behind the mid-July cyberattack.

In that attack, posts trying to dupe people into sending the hackers Bitcoin were tweeted by the official accounts of Apple, Uber, Gates, Joe Biden, Elon Musk and many others, forcing Twitter to lock large numbers of accounts in damage control.

More than $100,000 worth of the virtual currency was sent to email addresses mentioned in the tweets, according to, which monitors crypto transactions.

Twitter later said that hackers had "manipulated" some of its employees to access the accounts that were hacked.

The incident has raised concerns about the security of the platform increasingly used for conversations on politics and public affairs, particularly as the US presidential election in November approaches.