Hacking

9/11 documents hacked

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Insurance companies and lawyers who handled claims relating to the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City have been hacked by “The Dark Overlord” and have had 18,000 documents relating to the matter stolen, according to two individuals close to the case.

The FBI, who is investigating the case, has said that the hacker or hackers responsible for the theft targeted emails and non-disclosure agreements from insurers Hiscox and Lloyd’s of London, and law firm Husch Blackwell, previously known as Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin.

In recent years, both insurance companies have branched heavily into cybersecurity insurance, selling protection to cover the financial impact of a cyber-attack.

“The Dark Overlord”, who has a history of holding companies’ information at ransom and has been under the FBI’s watchful eye for a number of years, declared on New Year’s Eve that it had taken the data and has since invited the likes of Isis and al-Qaeda to bid for the documents in return for bitcoin.

Images of the documents made rounds on the internet after the hacker released decryption codes, which detailed communications pertaining to the World Trade Centre attack.

The hacker also announced that it had taken information from Silverstein Properties – the real estate company that owned and managed the World Trade Centre from before 2001.

Hiscox, however, admitted to one of its legal advisers being hacked earlier in April 2018.

A spokesperson said: “The law firm’s systems are not connected to Hiscox’s IT infrastructure and Hiscox’s own systems were unaffected by this incident. One of the cases the law firm handled for Hiscox and other insurers related to litigation arising from the events of 9/11, and we believe that information relating to this was stolen during that breach.

“We will continue to work with law enforcement in both the UK and US on this matter.”

Similarly, Husch Blackwell, Lloyd’s of London and Silverstein Properties made comments in that none of them had presently experienced any unauthorised access to their systems and files, and vouched for the digital security of their companies.

The UK National Cyber Security Centre predicted the risk from “The Dark Overlord” in 2017, and warned medical and legal institutions with sensitive information to be wary of the threat from hackers.

It said: “Whilst evidence of the stolen data is often provided, the volume and sensitivity of the data may be exaggerated to maximise impact.”

The Insurance Information Institute reported that the 9/11 attacks had cost the industry US$45 billion in 2017 terms.

About Lee Hazell

Lee Hazell is a cyber security consultant with a keen interest in anything tech or security related. Follow Lee on .

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