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British Cyber-Hacker Jailed Over US Company Data Theft

David Paul

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Cyber-Hacker

The member of ‘The Dark Overlord’ hacking group has been sentenced after stealing information from several companies across the UK and the US.

A cyber-hacker from Northamptonshire has been sentenced to five years in a US prison for his part in a string of major cyberattacks.

Nathan Wyatt, who was a key member of The Dark Overlord (TDO) hacking group, pled guilty to conspiring to commit identity theft and computer fraud.

The 39-year-old cyber-hacker, who is currently the only member of TDO to have been identified, was also ordered to pay around $1.5 million (£1.17 million) in restitution payments.

Wyatt was arrested in the UK in 2017 and extradited to the US in December 2019. During the hearing, he apologised and commented: “I can promise you that I’m out of that world”.

Wyatt said: “I don’t want to see another computer for the rest of my life.”

The group has committed a series of attacks, including obtaining sensitive data from companies and holding them to ransom, demanding of between $75,000 (£58,000) and $350,000 worth of bitcoin for the return of the data.

In addition to theft of company information, the group would also contact the media about the breach to generate bad press for the company and damage their reputation.

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TDO has also been involved in the hacking of three healthcare organisations and selling more than 650,000 patient records as well as the sale of more than 9.3 million records from an unnamed healthcare insurance provider.

The organisation has also publicly claimed responsibility for additional hacks, including Netflix, ABC, Sterling Financial Group, AZ Plastic Surgery Centre and Larson Studios being among their victims.

Wyatt himself was arrested in 2016 by British police investigating the hacking of an iCloud account belonging to Pippa Matthews. Wyatt was released with no further action in September 2017, although he has previously served 14 months in prison for hacking and fraud offences.

Acting US Assistant Attorney General Brian C Rabbitt said: “Nathan Wyatt used his technical skills to prey on Americans’ private data and exploited the sensitive nature of their medical and financial records for his own personal gain.”

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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