Data Backup Digest

Do-It-Yourself Windows File Recovery Software: A Comparison

results »

Dark Overlord Hacking Group Releases Decryption Key for Hacked 9/11 Files

It's been almost 20 years since the 9/11 attacks and there are more conspiracy theories than ever before. With fingers pointing in every direction, there are some who will never be satisfied with the answers they're given. Conversely, there will always be some who try to capitalize on public fears and government distrust – and that's exactly what the Dark Overlord hacking group hopes to achieve with their latest data dump.

Unveiling their Plan

They first unveiled their plans at the end of 2018. According to a story that was originally broke on {{|Motherboard}}, Dark Overlord gained unauthorized access to a law firm that was purportedly holding confidential data related to the attacks that took place on September 11, 2001. To make matters even worse, they threatened to release the data if their ransom wasn't met.

Make no mistake – this isn't the first time the Dark Overlord group has made headlines. They've made earlier extortion attempts against a Netflix-related production studio as well as businesses and medical facilities throughout the U.S.

Specifically, the group's plan would see them releasing the encryption key, via popular media, unless their victim agreed to pay an undisclosed Bitcoin ransom. Although two layers of their entire data cache had already been made public – likely an attempt to prove their claims – the third layer comprised the most information with approximately 5GB of files. According to Dark Overlord, the third layer was also the most damning.

Releasing the Third Key

The original victims, including Lloyds of London, Hiscox Syndicates, and more, refused the group's demands – leading to the release of the third encryption key in late February 2019 and giving the public access to all of the data within the third layer.

According to cybersecurity experts, the data cache – which comprised more than 8,000 individual emails from various law firms – appeared to be legit. Additional confirmation came from Hiscox Syndicates, who quickly released a statement regarding the incident.

One statement reads: "The law firm’s systems are not connected to Hiscox’s IT infrastructure and Hiscox’s own systems were unaffected by this incident. One of the cases the law firm handled for Hiscox and other insurers related to litigation arising from the events of 9/11, and we believe that information relating to this was stolen during that breach."

An additional statement adds to their previous response by saying: "Once Hiscox was informed of the law firm’s data breach, it took action and informed policyholders as required. We will continue to work with law enforcement in both the UK and US on this matter."

While the third layer of data isn't as jarring as the Dark Overlord hoped, they've made it clear that their information is genuine. Perhaps even more importantly, they have everyone wondering what other kind of information they may be holding – and planning to release – in the coming weeks and months.

The Dark Overlord hacking group has since been banned from both Reddit and Twitter, but they remain active on {{|Steemit}} – a relatively new, blockchain-based social networking site.


No comments yet. Sign in to add the first!