“Dark Overlord” is threatening to publish thousands of confidential, damning documents unless suspect parties pay up. What might be contained in those documents? We may learn the answer to that question soon, as the hackers have already started publishing materials online.
By John Friend
A notorious international hacking group known as Dark Overlord has threatened to publish thousands of confidential documents purportedly hacked and stolen from a number of insurance, real estate, and law firms that were directly involved with the events and aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, unless a multi-million-dollar ransom is met, it was recently reported at the web site “Vice Motherboard.”
The mysterious group, which seemingly works as a collective and has targeted and attempted to extort other large corporations and private entities in the past, claimed the secret documents in their possession will provide “many answers about 9/11 conspiracies,” according to a tweet released by the group on New Year’s Eve. The group’s Twitter account has since been suspended.
The group has claimed to have hacked and stolen important, highly sensitive data relating directly to 9/11 and litigation in its aftermath from a number of top insurance companies and law firms, including Lloyds of London, Silverstein Properties, and Hiscox Syndicates.
Larry Silverstein, the chairman of Silverstein Properties, has long been identified as a key suspect in the events of 9/11. Silverstein Properties acquired the World Trade Center complex in a suspicious privatization scheme involving the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey shortly before the 9/11 attacks, and soon thereafter purchased an insurance policy for the complex that included coverage for acts of terrorism. Silverstein has received billions of dollars as a result of insurance settlements in the years since 9/11, yet acquired the complex for the paltry sum of $14 million—as part of the $3.2 billion lease-purchase bid he won.
The Dark Overlord group initially threatened to extort the firms it hacked, demanding payment in bitcoin from the firms in order to keep their documents private.
“If you’re one of the dozens of solicitor firms who was involved in the litigation, a politician who was involved in the case, a law enforcement agency who was involved in the investigations, a property management firm, an investment bank, a client of a client, a reference of a reference, a global insurer, or whoever else, you’re welcome to contact our email below and make a request to formally have your documents and materials withdrawn from any eventual public release of the materials,” the group stated shortly after announcing the hack, providing an anonymous email address for potential inquires. “However, you’ll be paying us.”
The group has since announced that the public can make payments to “unlock” the documents and have them published online, and has apparently received $12,000 worth of bitcoin, resulting in the release of 650 documents that have been published so far.
Roughly 18,000 documents are alleged to have been hacked and stolen by the group, according to a report published by RT, Russia’s state-sponsored media platform.
These 650 documents comprise “layer 1” of the mass of confidential data, according to Dark Overlord. They claim to have four more “layers” of hacked data that are still in their possession, and that “each layer contains more secrets, more damaging materials . . . and generally just more truth,” RT reported.
In its latest publicly released statement, addressed to “the nation-state of the United States of America and the greater Deep State,” the group declares, “your censorship and fake news cover-ups won’t silence this organization or its public support.” The statement then goes on to threaten the various parties involved by claiming, “We’re going to burn you down unless you begin to ‘play ball.’ We’re peeling these layers back like an onion. No one can save you except for us.”
John Friend is a freelance writer based in California.