Two teenagers and a 22-year-old were charged Friday with the hacking of high-profile Twitter accounts belonging to prominent U.S. figures including former President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in an alleged bitcoin scam, U.S. authorities said.
The three -- a 19-year-old Briton and two individuals from Florida -- are alleged to have reaped more than $100,000 in Bitcoin, a well-known cryptocurrency, in just one day by sending solicitations for Bitcoin deposits from the hacked Twitter accounts with a false promise to double the amount given.
Around 130 accounts pertaining to politicians, celebrities and musicians were compromised during the July 15 incident. The Twitter attack consisted of "a combination of technical breaches and social engineering," the Justice Department said.
One of the two Florida individuals is a juvenile, but the person will be prosecuted because Florida law allows minors to be charged as adults in financial fraud cases when appropriate.
Twitter Inc. expressed appreciation for the "the swift actions of law enforcement" in the investigation and vowed to continue to cooperate as the case progresses.
Accounts that were reportedly compromised also included those of tech billionaire Elon Musk, Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon.com Inc. founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The corporate accounts for Uber Technologies Inc. and Apple Inc. were also hacked.
U.S. President Donald Trump's Twitter account, which has more than 84 million followers, was not breached in the July 15 hacking, according to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.