A United Kingdom man is facing federal charges of aggravated identity theft, threatening to damage a protected computer, and conspiring to commit those and other computer fraud offenses, related to his role in a computer hacking collective known as “The Dark Overlord,” which targeted victims in the St. Louis, Missouri, area beginning in 2016.
Nathan Wyatt, 39, ended up extradited from the United Kingdom to the Eastern District of Missouri and arraigned last Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Shirley Padmore Mensah. He pleaded not guilty and was detained pending further proceedings.
A federal grand jury indicted Wyatt Nov. 8, 2017.
Beginning in 2016, Wyatt was a member of The Dark Overlord, a hacking group responsible for remotely accessing the computer networks of multiple U.S. companies without authorization, obtaining sensitive records and information from those companies, and then threatening to release the companies’ stolen data unless the companies paid a ransom in bitcoin, according to court records.
Victims in the Eastern District of Missouri included healthcare providers, accounting firms, and others. Among other things, Wyatt is accused of participating in the conspiracy by creating email and phone accounts he used to send threatening and extortionate emails and text messages to victims, according to court records.
“Today’s extradition shows that the hackers hiding behind The Dark Overlord moniker will be held accountable for their alleged extortion of American companies,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
“Cyber criminals who harm victims in the Eastern District of Missouri cannot hide behind international borders to evade justice,” said U.S. Attorney Jeffrey B. Jensen of the Eastern District of Missouri.