MCPE-Craft » Articles » From Minecraft to millions. How a teenager stole the accounts of Biden, Obama, Musk and other celebrities
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On March 16, 2021, the defendant joined the Tampa District Court hearing via Zoom: a skinny 17-year-old teenager with a shaved head and wearing a mandatory medical mask on his face. This quiet guy raised several million bucks, starting with Minecraft, got involved in a murder, and then hacked the Twitter accounts of Musk, Obama, Gates, Bezos, Biden and other celebrities, and got caught. Here’s his story.

At the age of 14, Graham Ivan Clarke was like many of his peers, living with their mother and rarely getting out from behind the keyboard – only to have a snack or go to the hated school.

Perhaps, the only thing that distinguished him from other teenagers was that Graham, at such a young age, began to earn very decent money playing Minecraft, then hacked a famous financier and head of a hedge fund, stealing several million dollars from him, and for dessert he committed a hack that later called “the biggest incident in Twitter history”. And all this – until he turned 18 and became an adult according to the laws of the state of Florida, where the guy was born and lived.

MINECRAFT

Graham Clark became interested in Minecraft at school, and at home he spent hours on end at the computer, running around the fictional world with other players. At the same time, he created a YouTube channel dedicated to his favorite game, from which he hoped to make money through monetization. Despite the fact that Graham gained a certain number of regular subscribers, this did not bring serious income, and he decided to expand the business a little.

His YouTube channel was dedicated to a phenomenon known among Minecraft players as hardcore factions. This is the name given to alliances of players who can jointly claim a certain territory, work on building a base, establish relationships with other factions, or, conversely, enter into conflicts with them. Bases allow you to safely store in-game items obtained by faction members. At the same time, alliance members can fight with members of other factions in the hope of defeating them, and then raid the enemy base and take away valuable loot.

Graham mainly published videos with “traps” – cunning ways of killing other players (some of the traps, as his friends later admitted, were staged, and therefore the techniques shown could not be applied in practice).

At that time, cheat clients for the Minecraft PVP mode gained extraordinary popularity: the stakes were so high that many members of the “hardcore factions” were forced to use PVP cheats to remain competitive. Graham began advertising such programs on his channel, then gradually began selling them among his viewers.

The next step on the path to success is the distribution, under the guise of cheat clients, of various remote administration tools from the RAT category, as well as backdoors for the purpose of stealing game accounts. The purchase and sale of hijacked game accounts to members of hardcore factions brought in significantly more income than advertising on YouTube.

Peers who knew him recall that Graham was a very sociable guy and had the gift of eloquence, with the help of which he easily convinced others to do what he wanted. For example, by manipulating people, he persuaded them to help him create videos for YouTube for free.

One day, 14-year-old Clark decided to start his own Minecraft PVP server, but he lacked the technical knowledge to do so. Then he found several performers for this venture on the Internet and convinced them to join the project, and when they completed all the necessary work, he abandoned them without the slightest twinge of conscience.

It is noteworthy that if one of the subscribers tried to expose Graham, he was absolutely indifferent to this. He didn’t care what others thought about him: Clark was only interested in business.

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