A British man suspected of hacking the Twitter accounts of celebrities has gotten his extradition to the US approved in a Spanish court.
Joseph James O’Connor, from Liverpool, was arrested by the police in July 2021 in the southern city of Estepona, BBC reports.
According to sources, he faces several charges in connection with the July 2020 hack of more than 130 accounts, including those of US President Joe Biden and Barack Obama.
Other renowned personalities whose were victims of O’Connor’s hacking are the accounts of Bill Gates, Kanye West and Elon Musk.
A court statement said requirements had been met for handing over Mr O’Connor to US authorities for 14 charges, including the alleged crimes of revelation of secrets, membership of a criminal gang, illegal access to computer systems, internet fraud, money laundering and extortion.
It said he is wanted by courts in the Northern District of California and the Southern District of New York.
On his fraudulent strategies, US officials allege Mr O’Connor hijacked the Twitter accounts and then asked their followers to send bitcoin to an account, promising to double their money.
Spain’s National Court also revealed that he is also suspected of hacking the Snapchat account of an unnamed public figure and then threatening to publish naked pictures of the person unless he was financially compensated.
Mr O’Connor is also wanted for several alleged cases of “swatting” – making malicious calls to emergency services aimed at falsely misdirecting the police to visit various locations.
It said the “necessary conditions” were met for Spain to agree to a US extradition request for the 23-year-old, who is also known by the alias Plugwalk Joe.
The court rejected arguments by Mr O’Connor’s lawyers that he should be tried in Spain because the servers he used were located there.