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Alleged second teen mastermind behind Twitter’s ‘Bitcoin giveaway’ hack

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The FBI executed a search warrant against a 16-year-old Massachusetts resident in connection with the massive Twitter breach.

According to a New York Times report, on Sept. 1 authorities raided the home of a 16-year-old boy who may have played an “equal, if not more significant role” in the infamous July 15 hack, which resulted in millions of followers of high-profile Twitter accounts being falsely offered a 2-to-1 ‘giveaways’ for any Bitcoin (BTC) sent.

The investigation revealed he may have posed as a Twitter employee or contractor to fool legitimate ones into entering their login credentials to fake websites where he could then capture them.

The report stated that the teenager coordinated the Twitter attack starting in May with 17-year-old Graham Ivan Clark, the alleged mastermind. While Clark was discovered through his Discord chat records, the unnamed teenager reportedly used encrypted messaging systems like Signal and Wire, making it harder for investigators to identify him.

The unnamed individual could be the fourth charged following an investigation by the FBI, IRS, U.S. Secret Service, and local authorities. Clark was arrested on July 31 on 30 felony charges. In addition, 19-year-old U.K. resident Mason John Sheppard, and 22-year-old Florida resident Nima Fazeli have also been charged by federal prosecutors.

On Aug. 4, Clark pleaded not guilty to 17 counts of communications fraud, 11 counts of illegal use of personal information, one count of organized fraud over $5,000 and one count of illegally accessing a computer or electronic device. He is currently in jail on $725,000 bail.

The FBI has not yet presented any charges for the youth for his alleged involvement in the incident, which resulted in Twitter users sending 12 BTC — roughly $144,000 as of this writing — to different addresses posted during the attack.



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London Stock Exchange-listed firm inks FCA’s approval for crypto services

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Mode Global Holdings, a London Stock Exchange-listed fintech group, has secured major regulatory approvals for cryptocurrency and fintech operations in the United Kingdom.

The company announced Thursday that Mode has secured its Electronic Money Institution license and AMLD5 registration from the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.

The AMLD5 registration has been granted to Mode’s crypto arm Fibermode Limited, establishing it as an official crypto asset firm in the United Kingdom, pursuant to the amended regulations on money laundering, terrorist financing and transfer of funds.

The AMLD5 registration is a requirement for crypto-related businesses in the country that fall within the scope of money laundering regulations. According to the announcement, Mode is the fifth company to have received this registration to date since the FCA became the official AML supervisor of the crypto industry in the U.K. in January 2020.

Alongside the AMLD5, Mode’s subsidiary Greyfoxx Limited also acquired the EMI license, which enables Mode to offer a “range of innovative financial services” to both businesses and consumers in the United Kingdom, the announcement notes.

Following the acquisition of new regulatory approvals, Mode is planning to further expand its crypto services, including decommissioning its investment product known as the “Bitcoin Jar.” The product aims to allow Mode customers to use Bitcoin (BTC) to generate BTC interest rather than simply holding it in a wallet or on an exchange.

Mode CEO Ryan Moore noted that the new regulatory developments provide a major step in Mode’s mission to deliver a trusted and regulated environment. “It means we now have the ability to scale our operations and continue delivering innovative payments products for our customers under our own EMI licence. Both the EMI licence and the AMLD5 registration ensure business transparency, strong oversight and give our customers confidence in our offering,” he said.

Related: UK regulator warns against 111 unregistered crypto companies… and FOMO

The latest news comes shortly after a member of the British Parliament pointed out major difficulties in the process of registering crypto firms under the FCA’s AML regulations in late May. Economic secretary John Glen elaborated that FCA was not able to process and register all applications by its previous deadline due to a significant number of firms failing to adopt robust AML control frameworks as well as employ proper staff.