A United Kingdom (UK) national has been sentenced to prison for his involvement in cyber thefts through a Bitcoin ransom group dubbed “The Dark Overlord.” The reported group specialized in hacking and stealing of personal information and would threaten to expose it if victims don’t comply by paying Bitcoin ransoms, according to the US Department of Justice (DOJ).
UK member of Bitcoin ransom group faces jail
The 39-year-old UK national, Nathan Wyatt, was sentenced to five years in federal prison by US District Judge Ronnie White for the Eastern District of Missouri. This came after he pleaded guilty to the charges against him on September 21. Following the DOJ document, Wyatt was precisely charged for computer fraud and conspiring to commit aggravated identity theft.
As Wyatt admitted, he became a member of the hacking group in 2016. The group solely focused on unauthorizedly accessing computer networks belonging to United States residents, with the most target being residents in the St. Louis area, according to the Justice Department. The hacking group also attacked entities in the Eastern District of Missouri, such as accounting companies, and healthcare providers.
Hackers demand huge Bitcoin ransom to return stolen data
After stealing patients’ medical records, including sensitive information from companies, the group would demand a Bitcoin payment to restore the stolen information. Sometimes, the victimized companies were asked to pay a Bitcoin ransom worth between $75,000 to $350,000, according to the document. They will also threaten to expose the data in different criminal marketplaces if a particular victim fails to comply with their demand.
Cyber hackers mistakenly believe they can hide behind a keyboard,” said Special Agent in Charge Richard Quinn of the FBI’s St. Louis Field Office. “In this case, the FBI demonstrated once again that it would impose consequences on cyber criminals no matter how long it takes or where they are located.
In addition to facing the five-year jail term, Wyatt was equally ordered to pay over $1.4 million in restitution.