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Alleged Member of 'Dark Overlord' Hacker Group Extradited From UK to US

A UK national suspected of being a member of the notorious hacker group called The Dark Overlord has been extradited to the United States, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Wednesday.

Nathan Wyatt, 39, has been charged by U.S. authorities on six counts of aggravated identity theft, threatening to damage a protected computer, and conspiracy.

The Dark Overlord hacked into the systems of many companies in the United Kingdom and the United States. The cybercriminals stole information from the targeted organizations and used that information to convince them to pay a ransom.

According to the indictment made public by the Justice Department, Wyatt used phone and email accounts to send threatening messages to The Dark Overlord victims in an effort to get them to pay up.

Victims included companies in the film, healthcare, finance, legal and various other industries. U.S. prosecutors have focused on the attacks targeting one accounting and four healthcare companies.

The indictment references Wyatt’s alleged activities from February 2016 until June 2017. Wyatt has been in jail in the United Kingdom since 2017 after pleading guilty to separate charges related to blackmail, possession of a fake passport, and using stolen payment card data.

“Today’s extradition shows that the hackers hiding behind The Dark Overlord moniker will be held accountable for their alleged extortion of American companies,” said Brian A. Benczkowski, assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. “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.”

In May 2018, police in Serbia claimed to have arrested another alleged member of The Dark Overlord, but Motherboard reported at the time that the group had continued to operate.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.