Nima Fazeli is a Persian-American man residing in Orlando, Florida, United States. He was one of the four people behind the biggest security and privacy breach in Twitter’s history that happened in July 2020.
Graham Ivan Clark, a high school graduate born in Tampa, Florida, United States on January 9, 2003, was the mastermind of the Twitter hack. There were almost 130 accounts including high-profile verified accounts such as those of Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Floyd Mayweather, Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West, Michael Bloomberg, Wiz Khalifa and Warren Buffet, cryptocurrency exchanges AngeloBTC, Binance, Bitfinex, Coinbase, Gemini and Kucoin and companies Apple and Uber.
The hacked accounts tweeted about “giving back to the community” and doubling any Bitcoin users sent to them. It netted the cryptocurrency worth more than $180,000, The New York Times estimated.
Aside from Clark and Fazeli, Mason John Sheppard, a resident of Bognor Regis, West Sussex, England, United Kingdom born in 2001, also participated in the cyberattack. Fazeli used Rolex#0373, Rolex#373 and Nim F his aliases while Clark and Sheppard’s respective aliases were Kirk#5270 and ever so anxious#0001.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Alex G. Tse authorized a search warrant, which federal agents executed on July 21, 2020 at a residence in the Northern District of California, USA. A juvenile, one of the occupants of the home, admitted to working with Sheppard to illegally sell Twitter account access.
According to the authorities, the Twitter hack may have started on May 3, 2020 and ended on July 16, 2020. As Rolex#0373, Fazeli offered to serve as a proxy for Kirk#5270 and advertise on various internet forums.
In a criminal complaint in the Northern District of California, Fazeli was charged with aiding and abetting the intentional access of a protected computer. Here are 13 more facts about him:
- He is of Persian descent. He speaks English, Persian and Spanish.
- His father Mohamad Taghi Fazeli described him as “a very good person, very honest, very smart and loyal” in an interview with Associate Press.
- He was a recipient of Bright Future National Merit Scholarship.
- In fall 2015, he enrolled at the University of Central Florida in Orlando where he studied bachelor of business administration and majored in finance. He attended the university until summer 2020. While in the university, he joined the Gazoni Family formerly known as the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He has disaffiliated from the organization, which is not recognized by the university. He was also a member of Midknight Mentors, Venture Capital Club and Young Investors Club.
- On June 3, 2016, he registered to vote in Brevard County, Florida.
- He is an active voter affiliated with the Florida Democratic Party.
- From August 2017 to March 2018, he volunteered at Viera Hospital in Melbourne, Florida.
- On June 24, 2017, he created a Coinbase account named Nima FAZELI, which had approximately 1,900 transactions totaling approximately 21.46 bitcoin or approximately $237,551 as of July 30, 2020. From January 20, 2020 to July 17, 2020, both of this Coinbase account and his Discord profile named Rolex#0373 were accessed from the IP addresses 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206, which are registered to AT&T based in Orlando and to Spectrum in Rockledge, Brevard County, respectively.
- On December 23, 2017, he created another Coinbase account named Nim F, which was later closed. He has another account in the cryptocurrency exchange registered to another email address.
- Between October 11, 2019, and March 17, 2020, he used the bitcoin address 3Aieac9YpxmWkWmRcQNUSMjDSswYxnHZps, which was assigned to his Coinbase account Nima FAZELI, to receive payments from other OGUsers accountholders and conduct money exchanges with them.
- On March 30, 2020, he confirmed to another individual on OGUsers that he was Rolex#0373.
- On July 15, 2020, as Rolex#0373, he received a Discord message from Kirk#5270 who claimed to be working for Twitter and able to claim any handle on the microblogging site for him. He asked Kirk#5270 to prove it and provided the handle @viennacat921 and the latter replied with a screenshot of an internal Twitter panel for it with the associated email and phone number for the account.
- He was 22 years old when he was involved in the controversial Twitter hack in July 2020.