An alleged British hacker pleaded not guilty in a U.S. federal court in St. Louis, Mo., to a charge that he conspired to steal sensitive PII with the intention to release those records on criminal marketplaces unless victims paid ransoms.
Nathan Wyatt, 39, purportedly a member of the “Dark Overload” hacking group, was extradited from the U.K. after being indicted by a federal grand jury on November 8, 2017. He faces charges of aggravated identity theft, threatening to damage a protected computer, and conspiring to commit those and other computer fraud offenses, according to the Department of Justice.
On December 18 he appeared and was arraigned in the Eastern District of Missouri before U.S. Magistrate Judge Shirley Padmore Mensah. Wyatt was detained pending further proceedings.
According to the prosecution, Dark Overload in 2016 reportedly targeted healthcare providers, accounting firms and other victims in the St. Louis area.
“Today’s extradition shows that the hackers hiding behind the Dark Overlord moniker will be held accountable for their alleged extortion of American companies,” stated Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, in a press release.
U.S. Attorney Jeffrey B. Jensen added, “Cyber criminals who harm victims in the Eastern District of Missouri cannot hide behind international borders to evade justice.”
The justice department thanked U.K. law enforcement and international authorities for their substantial assistance in the investigation.