On New Years Eve, a hacker group published an announcement onto Pastebin revealing that they had hacked into an American law firm and stolen thousands of documents relating to the 9/11 attack and its aftermath. They have threatened to release these files if they are not paid in Bitcoin (BTC).
The hack occurred back in April of 2018 and was briefly reported on at the time by The Global Legal Post. The group, who dub themselves ‘Dark Overlord’, breached the systems of global insurer Hiscox Syndicates Ltd.
While it wasn’t reported at the time, the hackers have now revealed that this breach allowed them access to not only just Hiscox servers but to their affiliates as well. These include Lloyds of London, Silverstein Properties and the Bank of America.
It is not made exactly clear what sort of sensitive information these documents may contain, but the group would seem to be trying to capitalise on 9/11 conspiracy theories, according to a tweet they posted on the 31st of December which reads:
“We’ll be providing many answers about 9.11 conspiracies through our 18.000 secret documents leak from @HiscoxComms and others.”
The group claims to have stolen over 18,000 documents. They have organised these documents in ‘layers.’ Documents in layer 1 contain relatively menial information. The global impact these documents will cause apparently escalates going up to layer 5, which contains “the most heavy hitting and impactful documents.”
The hackers are threatening to release these documents to the internet layer by layer, if their ransom is not paid. They are demanding to be paid in Bitcoin, yet it has not been specified how much they want.
The group do not act under ethical reasons. They are offering to sell a portion of the documents to whoever wishes to buy it. This includes terrorist organisations:
“If you’re a terrorist organisation such as ISIS/ISIL, Al-Qaeda, or a competing nation state of the USA such as China or Russia, you’re welcome to purchase our trove of documents.”
Their intentions are summed up by their closing statement:
“We’re motivated only by our pursuit of internet money (Bitcoin).”