The Dark Overlord hacker group who last week grabbed headlines when it announced it was prepared to share 9/11 secrets in exchange for Bitcoin has released a second cache of information. The self-proclaimed “financially motivated” cyber criminals have also stated that they will continue to release more “layers” of information as they receive money from the public.
Following the leak of the first group of documents from Dark Overlord, social media accounts associated with the hackers were shut down. Surprisingly, given the cryptocurrency community’s penchant for censorship resistance, one of these was blockchain-based social media application Steemit.
Bitcoin Donations: “Cyber Cash for Cyber Cache”
Last week, the Dark Overlord hacker group demanded a ransom of an unspecified amount to stop the release of documents relating to the September 11 terrorist attack in New York City in 2001. However, after failing to receive said ransom, the group requested Bitcoin donations from the public. It said it would release the documents gradually as certain financial milestones were reached.
It released layer one over the weekend after it was paid $12,000 in the cryptocurrency. Although the second funding target has yet to be reached, the group released “layer 2” of the cache today.
So far, the documents have not contained any particularly damning evidence. They are largely composed of insurance correspondence about who the affected parties could claim damages from. There is some discussion of whether then-President George W. Bush could have known about the attacks before they happened and the potential involvement of the Saudi Royal family. However, sections referencing such details are speculative and provide nothing in the way of evidence.
In an effort to silence the Dark Overlord group, several social media sites have banned accounts linked to the hackers. These include Reddit, Pastebin, Twitter, and Steemit.
DarkOverlord’s account on @steemit has also been deleted. So much for centralization. However his posts have been recorded on the #steem blockchain, and those posts are accessible via other apps running on the Steem blockchain like @PartikoTeam – just download their app pic.twitter.com/zQQTgFCkfN
— wethepeople (@armyofpeople) January 8, 2019
Blockchain-based Steemit came under particularly intense fire for terminating their services to the group:
9/11 Papers Hacker Banned from Steemit. https://t.co/eTVnQzewca This is terrible. Exactly what blockchain is supposed to prevent. I don’t want anyone… ANYONE, to tell me what I may or may not view. Shame on you @steemit This is a huge mistake!
— Bitcoin Dood (@BitcoinDood) January 8, 2019
Although members of the cryptocurrency community took issue with the company’s decision to ban Dark Overlord, the files themselves are still available to view via other sites interacting with the Steem blockchain, such as Busy.org.
The group continues to use Busy.org to post to the Steem blockchain. In today’s message it promised to deliver additional secrets when it receives more Bitcoin. The next layer of the three more apparently coming was teased at the bottom of the public disclosure. Dark Overlord claims to have an additional 8,279 files relating to the terrorist atrocity at the turn of the century. The figure in Bitcoin for the disclosure of the third instalment was not mentioned, but the ultimate stated goal of Dark Overlord is to raise $2 million for all parts of its “megaleak”, referred to by the group as “the 9/11 Papers.”
This is not the first time Dark Overlord has demanded a payment in Bitcoin to stop the release of data. In 2017, financial binary options reported on the story of the demanding payment of 50 Bitcoin (then around £60,000) to not leak ten episodes of the popular Netflix original show Orange is the New Black. After the demand was not met, the group release the stolen media online.
Related Reading: Ryuk Ransomware Targets Businesses with Bitcoin Demands, Links to North Korea?
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