US authorities reported sentencing To 39-year-old Nathan Francis Wyatt, a former member of the infamous hacker group The Dark Overlord (TDO).
According to law enforcement officials, since 2016, Wyatt has been a member of the TDO, and these were the "golden years" for the group, when hackers regularly hacked large companies, stole confidential data, and then demanded huge ransoms from victims. If they refused to pay, the attackers sold the stolen information on hacker forums, published it on the Internet for free, or leaked it to the press in order to tarnish the damaged company’s reputation.
According to judicial documentsWyatt's role in particular was to contact victims and negotiate a ransom. Investigators tracked him down, as Wyatt used phone numbers registered in his real name on several occasions. As a result, in 2017, the hacker was arrested in the UK, after which he was extradited to the United States in December 2019.
Law enforcement officials have now reported that Wyatt has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated identity theft and computer fraud. The hacker was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay compensation to the victims in the amount of $ 1,467,048.
Let me remind you that in 2018 another member of The Dark Overlord was arrested in Serbia. Little was known about the detainee: in the documents he appeared under the initials S.S., he was 38 years old, and he lived in Belgrade. What role he played in TDO is still unknown.
There is no information about other arrests of members of The Dark Overlord, that is, it can be assumed that most of the members of the group are still at large.
As mentioned above, The Dark Overlord is a group known not only in narrow underground circles, because several years ago this name regularly appeared on the pages of the media. The TDO made a name for itself back in 2015 when it attacked medical organizations, stole data, and then blackmailed victims into paying, otherwise threatening to release the stolen information.
For example, in 2016, TDO put up for sale a large database containing health insurance data for 9,278,352 Americans. In the same year, the hackers, who were eager to communicate with the media, shared their vision with journalists and said that the media is a convenient tool that other groups should not neglect. A TDO spokesman said that cybercriminals are completely wrong to underestimate the media, because publications in the press help to make a name so that later they look more threatening in the eyes of victims.
In 2017, TDO slightly “changed the profile” of their activities and kidnapped a number of films and television shows that had not yet been released, and then tried to blackmail Netflix and Larson Studios. As the companies refused to deal with intruders and pay the ransom, ten episodes of the then-new, fifth season of Orange Is The New Black were published on The Pirate Bay.
Then TDO warned that the next victims would be ABC, Fox, National Geographic IFC and still Netflix, since more than one series was stolen. The hackers said they had hundreds of gigabytes of unreleased and non-distributable copies of various content from the servers of Hollywood studios at their disposal. In June 2017, the hacker group kept their promise. This time, eight episodes of ABC's Steve Harvey's Funderdome, which has not yet been aired, have been unveiled on the Pirate Bay torrent tracker. The hackers reported that they approached ABC with "a very attractive business proposal," but the company refused to communicate, and the attackers decided that it was time to "present a gift to the kind people from the Internet."
The Dark Overlord also has the following hacks (the list is far from complete):