A hacker who is believed to have helped hijack Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Twitter account has been arrested.
Representatives of the Santa Clara County (California) district attorney’s office have confirmed that the hacker – whose identity has not been disclosed because he is a minor – was apprehended by members of the Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team, or REACT.
The suspect is said to be a former member of the Chuckling Squad, which has claimed responsibility for hacking a series of celebrities in addition to Dorsey.
Reporters from Motherboard discussed the arrest and the suspect with Chuckling Squad’s leader, who uses the online name Debug.
“He was a member of Chuckling Squad but not anymore,” Debug said of the arrested hacker. “He was an active member for us by providing celeb/public figure [phone] numbers and helped us hack them.”
Debug told Motherboard that the arrest took place in early November and that the individual arrested was responsible for acquiring the Twitter CEO’s private phone number. With the number in hand, the rest of the group was able to carry out the hack.
Chuckling Squad seized control of Dorsey’s phone number with a hacking technique called SIM-swapping. At that point, it was easy to log on to Twitter and other accounts as Dorsey, even if two-factor authentication was enabled.
The hackers posted a series of bomb threats, racist messages, and retweets containing anti-Semitic content while masquerading as Dorsey.
Debug told Motherboard that the arrested minor took part in a number of other cyberattacks, including an attack targeting Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Erin West. That attack was motivated, Debug said, by West’s role in prosecuting a SIM-swapper named Joel Ortiz, who was convicted in February 2019 and is now serving 10 years in prison for stealing more than $5 million worth of cryptocurrency.