A Federal court in Missouri has sentenced a British member of the Dark Overlord hacking group to 60 months in jail and has been ordered to pay $1.4 million in restitution for the role he played in several attacks on organizations in the United States.
Nathan Francis Wyatt, 39, of Wellingborough, UK, who used monikers such as Crafty Cockney and Mas, was indicted by a grand jury in November 2017 for the role he played in cyberattacks on five organizations in Missouri and Atlanta.
Wyatt was arrested in the UK and was extradited to the US in December 2019 to face charges. Wyatt was indicted on 6 counts – 1 count of conspiracy, 2 counts of aggravated identity theft, and 3 counts of threatening to damage a protected computer. Wyatt entered into a plea deal that saw five counts dropped, with Wyatt pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy.
Wyatt had created a trail of evidence that tied him to some of the attacks conducted by The Dark Overlord. The hacking group threatened victims of the breaches in an attempt to get them to pay the ransom demand, some of the communications threatened victims’ families and included information about family members, where they lived, and other information that suggested the victim had been thoroughly researched.
Wyatt’s counsel had argued that Wyatt was not a sophisticated criminal and had registered accounts used in the attacks in his own name, which allowed him to be identified by law enforcement. The Dark Overlord hacking group was however a sophisticated threat group, and it was argued that Wyatt only played a small part in the attacks and was not the person who orchestrated the group.
Wyatt had recently been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, which it was claimed was a reason why he had made bad decisions. Wyatt expressed remorse for his actions and shame for his role in the attacks.
The judge sentenced Wyatt to 60 months in jail and ordered him to pay $1,467,048.07 in restitution. Wyatt is expected to serve at least 85% of his sentence. No other individuals associated with the hacking group have been identified or charged over the attacks.