Nathan Wyatt, an alleged member of “The Dark Overlord” hacking collective, has been extradited to the United States to face charges over extortion racket.
Great success story of capturing & extraditing cybercriminal from another country. In many cases, the suspect is in a different country than the victim so cooperation between law enforcement of both countries is crucial. https://t.co/fR631zzMGp #cybercrime #extortion #justiceporn — CipherBlade (@cipher_blade) December 20, 2019
On December 18, it has been reported that according to an announcement from the U.S. Department of Justice, the charges relate to the purported theft of sensitive information from companies in the St. Louis area, and threats to release this information unless a ransom was paid in Bitcoin (BTC).
Wyatt pled not guilty to charges of aggravated identity theft, threatening to damage a protected computer, and conspiring to commit those and other computer fraud offenses, and was detained pending further proceedings.
However, he is alleged to have been a member of “The Dark Overlord” hacking group since 2016 and was indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2017. His detainment and extradition was a joint co-operative effort between the FBI and U.K. law enforcement.
Richard Quinn, FBI Special Agent, explained:
“Cyber hackers may no longer use territorial borders to shield themselves from accountability. This case is another example of how the FBI successfully works with international law enforcement partners to bring alleged perpetrators to justice.”
Brian A. Benczkowski, the Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said:
“Today’s extradition shows that the hackers hiding behind The Dark Overlord moniker will be held accountable for their alleged extortion of American companies. We are thankful for the close cooperation of our partners in the United Kingdom in ensuring that the defendant will face justice in U.S. court.”
Similarly, Jeffrey B. Jensen, the U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Missouri, said:
“Cyber criminals who harm victims in the Eastern District of Missouri cannot hide behind international borders to evade justice. Today’s case demonstrates the United States’ commitment to unmasking criminal hackers and bringing them to justice, no matter where they may be located.”
Likewise, The Dark Overlord group was responsible for remotely accessing multiple corporate networks without authorization by obtaining sensitive information and threatening to release data on criminal marketplaces unless the victims paid a ransom in Bitcoin.
Victims in the St. Louis area included healthcare providers, accounting firms, and others.
Thus, Wyatt’s participation in the conspiracy is alleged to include creating email addresses and phone accounts used to send threatening and extortionate messages to certain victims.