The boy from Florida who hacked Twitter last year was sentenced to three years in prison. Graham Ivan Clark, now 18, entered a plea agreement with state prosecutors in Florida on Tuesday, agreeing to spend time in a juvenile facility with three years of probation. Clark was arrested in July for successfully hijacking the Twitter accounts of celebrities such as Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian, and Barack Obama to launch a Bitcoin scam.
Clark was able to phish many Twitter employees into giving up access to the company’s internal software, which can be used to reset and alter an account’s password. The incident exposed flaws in Twitter’s IT protection. Fortunately, Clark and his co-conspirators simply used their connections to celebrity accounts to persuade people to donate Bitcoin to a cryptocurrency address. Clark earned a total of $117,440.
Clark had planned to campaign for his innocence in court after his conviction. However, he has pleaded guilty to all 30 charges. Part of the explanation may be that Clark would only be imprisoned for a short period of time. He is being prosecuted under Florida’s Youthful Offender Act, which lowers the penalty for felons under the age of 21.
“Youthful Offender status is available only once in a person’s life,” the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office said. “It means Clark’s incarceration will be served in a juvenile facility, and he will receive education and transition services to prepare him for a productive life after he serves his time. If Clark violates his probation, he will face a minimum ten-year sentence in an adult prison.”
Clark has already been imprisoned for more than seven months, which would be added to his three-year sentence. Nonetheless, state attorneys are optimistic that Clark will change his ways.
Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said in a statement “In this case, we’ve been able to deliver those consequences while recognizing that our goal with any child, whenever possible, is to have them learn their lesson without destroying their future”.