The Dark Overlord hacker group has released decryption keys for a second batch of 9/11 documents, totaling over 7,500 files.
Additional document leaks containing “more secrets” and “more truth” have been promised, for a price.
The first batch of the supposed 18,000 documents was made available by the hackers at the weekend, along with a decryption key for ‘layer 1’ of the dump. The documents are believed to have been stolen from insurance companies, law firms and government agencies, and the hackers originally demanded an unspecified bitcoin ransom to keep them unreleased.
After apparently failing to secure the ransom, the group then took bitcoin donations from the public, releasing ‘layer 1’ after collecting $12,000 – but then also releasing ‘layer 2’ on Wednesday despite not meeting its funding target.
So far, no ‘smoking gun’ has emerged detailing conspiracy or government involvement in the terrorist attacks.
Instead, the documents build up a picture of insurance litigators brainstorming to see who they could sue for damages in the wake of the attacks. In emails, the lawyers discuss targeting the airlines, airplane manufacturers, the Federal Aviation Authority, the terrorists themselves, and foreign entities.
Talking strategy, the lawyers mull taking action against Boeing for not fitting the 757 and 767 aircraft used in the attacks with automatic transponders, which could have alerted authorities sooner that something was amiss, a case that the lawyers admit in the documents was flimsy. The lawyers also discuss dropping a case against the FAA, for fear of rankling the government.
Along the way, the litigators discuss whether then-President George W. Bush had advance knowledge of the attacks, or whether the Saudi Royal family was responsible, but this discussion is speculative and no damning new information is revealed.
While the encryption key for the first batch of documents has been scrubbed from Reddit, Pastebin and Twitter, it remained available for several days on Steemit. Dark Overlord’s account was banned from the platform on Wednesday, however, but the documents can be accessed on Busy.org, a website that runs on the same blockchain as Steemit.
DarkOverlord's account on @steemit has also been deleted. So much for centralization. However his posts have been recorded on the #steem blockchain, and those posts are accessible via other apps running on the Steem blockchain like @PartikoTeam – just download their app pic.twitter.com/zQQTgFCkfN
— wethepeople ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ (@armyofpeople) January 8, 2019
The hacker group has promised three more layers of documents to come, if its price is met. The latest leak was accompanied with the message: “Continue to keep the bitcoins flowing, and we’ll continue to keep the truth flowing.” The hackers are asking for $2 million in bitcoin for the public release of its “megaleak,” which it has dubbed “the 9/11 Papers.”
Emerging in 2016, Dark Overlord has been responsible for numerous hacking and extortion schemes. The group infamously leaked an entire season of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black last year when its ransom was not met. When not leaking government and corporate documents, the group makes a living selling credit card information and medical records.
The group may have a hard time paying its members if the latest ransom demands are not met, however. Cyberscoop reported on Tuesday that the group was posting recruitment ads on dark web forums in November, looking to hire four skilled cybercriminals.
New employees were reportedly promised 50,000 pounds ($63,500) monthly, bumped up to 70,000 pounds ($89,000) after two years’ service.