After several days of threats, infamous hacking group The Dark Overlord has delivered on its promise to release a series of stolen 9/11 documents if ransom demands remained unfulfilled.
The group, which has been involved in several high-profile hacking attacks in the past, first claimed on New Years Eve that it had accessed 18,000 documents from insurance entities associated with the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The Dark Overlord posted a tweet claiming that it was in possession of files from superior insurers and legal firms, namely Hiscox Syndicates, Lloyds of London and Silverstein Properties.
Hiscox Syndicates and Lloyds of London are both among the top leading insurers that provide insurance packages ranging from simple policies to some of the largest insurance policies globally, including coverage of the World Trade Centers.
According to a post on Pastebin, releasing the stolen files would open up a wealth of once-secret information surrounding conspiracies of the greatest man-made disaster on American soil.
Furthermore, The Dark Overlord also claimed in the initial announcement that the leaked files have been posted for a limited time on KickAss, a hacking forum on the dark web, which would allow the group to successfully meet their needs.
Individuals whose data is captured by the stolen cache of information have also suffered blackmailing attempts by the hacking group.
There is, however, a lack in exactness regarding the stolen files, although it has become common knowledge that The Dark Overlord is trying to capitalize on conspiracy theories surrounding the 9/11 attacks.
A Cyber Extortionist Strategy: Media Capitalization
Expectedly, the latest threats have caused ripples across the internet. This stems from existing knowledge concerning the capabilities of The Dark Overlord—they once hacked a production studio to release unaired episodes of the popular TV series Orange Is the New Black.
Additionally, they have been implicated in hacking cases involving major U.S. medical institutions and private businesses.
The group’s announcement comes off as a new cyber extortionist strategy.
Seemingly, The Dark Overlord has advanced its methodologies from leveraging the media to pressurize its demands to aggressive threat distribution.
After media coverage of their hacks are published in headlines across the globe, the victims are further pressured to pay ransom demands.
‘9/11 Papers’ Released
On January 3, The Dark Overlord drafted an announcement on its busy.org account that implicated a 10GB cache of files it allegedly obtained.
The archive of files are encrypted, but the necessary decryption keys have now been posted online, thus exposing various sets of files at a time for the public to see.
The group warned against any unprecedented delays as they would proceed with releasing the decryption keys and thus fix a sizeable scale of liability on its victims.
Later, on January 9, The Dark Overlord released yet another cache of 9/11 files motivated by a crowdfunding campaign launched by the group.
Who, in Particular, Is Being Targeted?
The Dark Overlord’s release goes further to spell out the targeted individuals in the hack.
The numerous solicitors that were involved in litigation endeavors following the 9/11 attack have been mentioned.
Politicians and law enforcement agencies involved in delving the fabrics of the attacks have also been identified as targets.
Additionally, property management companies, investment banking institutions and their associated clients have not been left behind.
The announcement also ordered all the targeted organizations, including global insurance agencies and any concerned parties, to reach out to The Dark Overlord via email to place formal requests toward absolving themselves from the jaws of disrepute.
Such action, as the note insists, will be subject to payments made in Bitcoin, to full satisfaction of the hacking group.
So far, Hiscox Syndicates has admitted to have suffered an actual “data breach” involving files with critical information about the 9/11 event’s legal aftershocks.
A spokesperson confirmed that the law firm was involved in litigation following the 9/11 attacks, and that information relating to the event had been stolen in the data breach.
While Hiscox shed some light on the matter, and its implications moving forward, Lloyds of London chose to stay silent about the incident.
This occurred even in the face of attempts by the hacking group to send its victims into a state of panic.
The Dark Overlord has since published sets of letters, emails and other documents that spell out the name of numerous law firms, including the Transport Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
So far, the TSA has stayed clear of this case by failing to respond via an official statement.
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