On July 15, a Twitter hack targeting some of the platform’s most high-profile users caused chaos on the site, with Twitter temporarily restricting verified users from posting at all. The hack had users like Bill Gates, Kanye West, and Obama tweeting out a bitcoin scam to millions of followers.
Now, a 17-year-old Florida teenager has been arrested over the hack, and a New York Times profile has delved into his history of hacks and online scams. Friends told the New York Times that Graham Ivan Clark started playing Minecraft at age 10 to escape an unhappy home life, and soon became adept at scamming other players.
Like many young gamers, Clark dabbled with YouTube, building an audience playing Minecraft in PVP-oriented servers. He reportedly used the username Open, or OpenHCF. The Times report tracked down a number of players who had been scammed by someone with the same username–usually offering to sell a username or a rare cape and then blocking the user once money had been sent.
One player described how he offered to buy Clark’s own username “Open” for $100, but then was blocked once the transaction was sent. “I was just kind of a dumb teenager, and looking back, there’s no way I should have ever done this,” the user told the Times. “Why should I ever have trusted this dude?”
Clark’s seemingly practiced Minecraft scams are now preserved in a number of YouTube videos by other Minecraft players, exposing the most common ways he scammed other players.
After the Twitter hack, Clark is being charged as an adult with 30 felonies. He had previously been involved in a large bitcoin theft, but was not charged due to being a minor.