An individual alleged to be responsible for hacking the account of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been arrested, according to law enforcement and criminal sources.
Sources have claimed the individual is part of a notorious hacker group, The Chuckling Squad, a collective that has claimed responsibility for hacks of other celebrities.
One of the group’s leaders, whose user name is Debug, told Motherboard that the alleged member was arrested two weeks ago. Motherboard refuses to name the individual as they are a minor. The unnamed hacker has denied the allegations.
Debug described the minor as an active member who provided the group with “celebs/public figure [phone] numbers” that helped the group to hack their targets. However, the teen was ejected from the group in October.
Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, which manages the Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT), applauded the efforts of law enforcement. In an email to Motherboard, the office said: “REACT continues to work with and assist our law enforcement partners in any way we can.
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“We hope this arrest serves as a reminder to the public that people who engage in these crimes will be caught, arrested and prosecuted.”
During the attack on Dorsey’s account the group posted a series of inflammatory tweets that included bomb threats and racist messages. The group used a technique known as SIM-swapping to gain control of Dorsey’s account, by hijacking control of his phone number.
Debug claimed that in that hack the suspect acquired Dorsey’s phone number, but the rest of the hack was carried out by the group and other Chuckling leaders known as Aqua and NuBLoM. Speaking to Motherboard the arrested individual confirmed their arrest, but denied his part in the Dorsey hack.
The individual was also responsible for a number of other hacks, including one on Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Erin West, according to Debug. He backed his claims up with a screenshot of a text message they say the person sent to West, which included the hashtag “#FreeJoelOrtiz,”.
This is a reference to a SIM-swapper that West convicted, who accepted a plea deal of 10 years in prison after stealing more than $5 million worth of cryptocurrency. Debug said that the individuals motivations were not purely financial, “he would be weird, swatting celebrities for a follow back”.