A US district judge has sentenced a UK National to five years in federal prison for participating in the cybercrime activities of hacking collective group “The Dark Overlord.” Nathan Wyatt was extradited from the UK to the US in December 2019 for targeting computer networks of American companies. Victims include healthcare providers and accounting firms in the St. Louis, Missouri area where Wyatt faced charges. He has pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and computer fraud, and according to the Justice Department, he has admitted to being a member of The Dark Overlord since 2016.
The group is notorious for remotely accessing the computer networks of companies in the US to steal sensitive data, such as patient medical records and personal identifying information. They’d then threaten to release that data unless the victim companies pay a ransom that usually falls between $75,000 and $350,000 in bitcoin. Back in 2017, the group infamously leaked new Orange Is the New Black episodes even after the post-production company they stole the files from paid a $50,000 ransom. Last year, they also dumped a bunch of 9/11-related documents online.
Aside from confirming that he was part of The Dark Overlord, Wyatt revealed the specific roles he played within the group. The Justice Department says he admitted to participating in conspiracy “by creating, validating, and maintaining communication, payment, and virtual private network accounts” that the group used to threaten and extort victims in Missouri.
US Attorney Jeff Jensen of the Eastern District of Missouri said in a statement:
“The Dark Overlord has victimized innumerable employers in the United States, many of them repeatedly. I am grateful to the victims who came forward despite ransom threats and to the prosecutors and agents who were the first to catch and punish a member of The Dark Overlord in the United States.”