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Capital One Hacker Arrested After Bragging About Theft on Twitter

July 30th 19__Kristin Houser__Filed Under: Future Society
Tag Hartman-Simkins

Not So Smart

In March, a hacker breached Capital One’s server, stealing tens of thousands of Social Security and bank account numbers in a massive attack that affected more than 100 million people.

On Monday, Capital One announced that the FBI had arrested Seattle software engineer Paige Thompson for the crime — after they caught her bragging about it on her social media accounts.

Face Palm

Capital One only became aware of the data theft on July 17, when it received a tip from someone who saw a GitHub post about the crime. The finance company then launched an investigation and confirmed the bank hack two days later.

At that point, it began working with federal authorities, who traced the crime to Thompson after finding posts she wrote about it on Meetup, Twitter, and Slack.

“I’ve basically strapped myself with a bomb vest,” she wrote in a Twitter direct message, according to court documents, “fucking dropping capitol ones dox and admitting it.”

Overwhelming Evidence

As if the social media posts weren’t enough evidence against Thompson, the FBI also found a copy of the stolen data at her home when they arrested her on Monday.

A hearing for Thompson’s case is scheduled for August 1, and she faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if found guilty — and at this point, it’s hard to imagine how she might avoid such a ruling.

READ MORE: Capital One Data Breach Hits 100 Million; Ex-Amazon Worker Is Charged as Hacker [The New York Times]

More on hackers: Banks Are Under Siege by Sophisticated Hackers