UK’s National Cyber Security Centre makes note of TheDarkOverlord

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, part of the GCHQ, saw fit to include a notice about TheDarkOverlord in their Weekly Threat Report of November 3. Their weekly threat report is drawn from open source reporting.

The Dark Overlord – Systematic cyber-enabled extortion

A cyber crime group called ‘The Dark Overlord’ has claimed responsibility for conducting cyber-enabled extortion campaigns in recent weeks. Victims include a London-based plastic surgery clinic and a Hollywood production studio, both of which are believed to have a number of high-profile clients. The group has a history of hacking organisations to obtain sensitive information before demanding money in exchange for not leaking it into the public domain. They leak snippets of data to the media to encourage them to report on their activity. This is aimed at “proving” that a breach has taken place, and increases the pressure on the victim to pay the ransom. ‘The Dark Overlord’ has been responsible for indiscriminately targeting health institutions, schools and media production companies over the last year.

Any organisation that deals with sensitive personal information (e.g. medical institutions, law firms) is at a higher risk of being targeted, and owes a particular duty of care to its clients because of the risk of severe emotional distress if client data is made public.  Whilst evidence of the stolen data is often provided, the volume and sensitivity of the data may be exaggerated to maximise impact. This may inspire other cyber extortionists to adopt a similar methodology, especially as new opportunities present themselves due to an increasing amount of sensitive data being stored online. Any data breach and the associated media exposure may cause significant reputational damage and loss of business.

Furthermore, breaches can impact systems that have not been breached if a user has a shared password between the services. The NCSC has produced guidance on passwords and how password managers can help users.


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3 comments to “UK’s National Cyber Security Centre makes note of TheDarkOverlord”

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  1. freejustinshafer - November 6, 2017

    And the FBI still thinks Justin Shafer is thedarkoverlord/co-conspiring..
    Clearly the TDO still out there
    Time to get him out of jail and go after the real offenders still at large.

    #freeshafer #freejustinshafer

    • Dissent - November 6, 2017

      As a reminder: Shafer is not in jail on any charges relating to TheDarkOverlord or hacking. He is in jail on charges relating to cyberstalking an FBI agent and the agent’s family. Equally absurd, but different.

      • FreeJustinShafer - November 7, 2017

        Yes, he is being charged for cyberstalking the agent, but in the original papers, it said ‘he was being investigated’ on the other issue pertaining to TDO.

        which clearly he can not be the same person, since TDO is out there.

        Yes, I and along with others agree that it’s absurd. J.S has tons of support out there to see his release. The hashtags on Twitter keep going and circulating.

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