UK Man Linked to The Dark Overlord Hacking Group To Serve 3-Year Jail Term

A man was sentenced to serve a three-year jail term for fraud and blackmail offenses. Nathan Wyatt, a 36-year old from Wellingborough, England was allegedly linked to TheDarkOverlord hacking group. But his offenses were not related to TheDarkOverlord gang’s cyberattacks or extortion attempts.  Nathan, better known online as Crafty Cockney, pleaded guilty to 20 counts of fraud by false representation, two counts of blackmail and one count of possession of a false identity document with the intention to deceive.

Judge Martin Griffits sentenced Wyatt at Southwark Crown Court to serve 3 years in jail. He suggested during the sentencing hearing that Wyatt was associated with other crimes not pursued in the courts, including those linked to TheDarkOverlord.

Wyatt was arrested in September 2016 for attempting to broker the sale of Pippa Middleton’s photographs obtained from her hacked iPhone. Wyatt maintains that he had nothing to do with the hacking, the charges of which were dropped. His computer was seized for analysis and the investigators found out that he had involvement in other crimes. He was arrested for using a false identity document, fraud offenses and blackmail offenses.

The police discovered the different illegal acts of Wyatt including:

  • Using stolen credentials for a denied payment card application
  • Using his deceased step father’s credit card for online purchases that racked up debts amounting to £4,750
  • Wyatt used the name “The Dark Overlords” on a ransom demand in an extortion attempt to get €10,000 in Bitcoin from a UK law firm. He stole about 10,000 files from the law firm using malware on the firm’s server. In the extortion letter, he told that he will sell the files to buyers in Russia and China if the firm does not pay the ransom. The files contained scanned copies of passports and driver’s licenses.

Wyatt had a partner named Kelly Walker who was also arrested and faced charges of handling stolen goods and assisting offenses. She got acquitted for lack of evidence against her. It is not known if Wyatt was really a core member of TheDarkOverlord. Allegedly, he was supposed to pressure the hacking group’s victims in Georgia to pay the ransom. Also, he allegedly opened bank accounts in the UK to receive payments sent from U.S. hacking victims on behalf of TheDarkOverlord.

It is the practice in the UK that prisoners serve 1 to 4 years in jail, which is half of the sentence, and then they are released to serve the rest of the sentence on probation. So, Wyatt will probably be released in 18 months. There are no charges against Wyatt yet for any offense committed in the U.S.