A cyber terrorist hacking group known as the ‘Dark Overlord’ became notorious in 2016 for extorting and terrorizing organizations across the country. Their specialty was extorting medical and healthcare providers and they became famous in the media for selling stolen medical records on the darknet markets. In addition to medical facilities, they also liked to extort law firms and successfully hacked a number of them in Missouri. The Dark Overlord group really hit the big time in 2017 when they began to extort household brands like Disney, Netflix, ABC, and Fox after hacking them and threatening to publish previously unreleased copies of their studio productions on the internet if their ransoms were not paid. They were the group behind the illegal release of the Netflix series ‘Orange Is The New Black’ after Netflix point blank refused to pay their ransom or give in to the criminal group’s extortion attempts.

They went on to become known as terrorists when they began to hack entire school districts and threaten the safety of their student bodies unless their ransoms were not paid, forcing more than 30 schools to close for weeks while the attacks were remediated by cybersecurity professionals. After hacking school records the group would begin to send text messages to the children’s families, naming them personally in the messages, and making threats of violence against them, often threatening to kill the children. Even more maliciously they began to publish the phone numbers and names of children online and encouraged pedophiles to target them.

The alarming nature of the text messages to the children’s parents spread fear throughout the school districts was unprecedented, they also watched law enforcement move to secure the school facilities by hacking into schools CCTV systems to watch their every move. To further increase their reputation for maliciousness, they also released a trove of stolen data and personal information on students which “made it easy for child predators to acquire new targets” and made bomb threats against the schools forcing them to close down.

The Professional

Vinny Troia is the founder of Night Lion Security, an internationally acclaimed Cybersecurity Risk Management group, and a renowned cybersecurity speaker, digital investigator, and author of ‘Hunting Cyber Criminals.’ Vinny and his team at Night Lion specialize in gathering open-source intelligence (OSINT) on organized cybercrime groups and darknet operators conducting attacks against businesses and citizens in the United States. Night Lion Security is acclaimed for providing world-class information security services to their customers including:

  • Digital Forensic Investigations
  • Tracking Organized Cybercrime Groups
  • Infiltrating & Monitoring Darknet Crime Forums
  • Working With Law Enforcement On Cybercrime Cases
  • Information Security Risk Assessments, Services & Consultancy

How We Helped

Vinny Troia and the team at Night Lion Security had been actively tracking the cybercrime group for a number of years and gathering intelligence on the group in order to provide evidence to law enforcement officials. Members of Nigh Lion’s Intelligence Division began formulating a plan to penetrate the group and gather as much identifying information as possible, during the planning phase they worked closely with their local FBI contact.

Night Lion Security published an intelligence report which helped to identify the head of Dark Overlord as a nineteen year old Canadian called Christoper Meunier and his long time collaborator, Canadian citizen Dennis Dionysios Karvouniaris. This report was instrumental in the Dark Overlord crime group being apprehended and brought to trial, it also provided evidence of a close and long-term collaboration between these two perpetrators and their history operating under different names on various darknet forums and markets. The report directly attributed the close collaboration between these two figures with approximately 42% of (non-credit card related) data breaches between 2017 and 2020 and provided evidence of the two hacking Night Lion servers in an attempt to discredit its findings. The intelligence report published by Night Lion was instrumental in helping federal law enforcement officials identify and extradite key members of the group in order to bring them to trial in the United States, arrests which resulted in convictions for the Dark Overlord members.

Hire The Professionals

If your organization is being threatened by organized criminal groups or has fallen victim to cybercrime activity, always remember that you aren’t alone, Night Lion Security stands ready to assist you. We are specialists in leveraging forensic investigations and attributing cyberattacks, data breaches, and extortion attempts to the perpetrators behind them. Our deeply knowledgeable team of information security professionals possess hard-earned experience a wide range of different cybersecurity domains and we always have something to bring to the table. If you need the services of a team of veteran cybersecurity operators then get in touch with Night Lion Security today to help you investigate and recover from cyber incidents.