KALISPELL, Mont. - Dark Overlord Solutions, the cyber hacker which threatened schools in the Columbia Falls School District, has a history of targeting healthcare groups and television networks for money via Bitcoin, an online form of currency.
NBC Montana took a look at the cyber hacker's history, and it seems as though the school district is the first educational organization the person or group has targeted. Reports state Dark Overlord was banned from Twitter earlier this year. The hacker used its Twitter account and the dark web to release 600,000 insurance records, documents and emails from the Gorilla Glue Company, and leaked the fifth season of Orange Is The New Black, even after a production company paid a $50,000 ransom. Montana residents like Thomas Evola were shocked to learn the hacker was threatening the Flathead County area. "I mean, it's not the biggest demographical area and I don't know exactly what they would have to accomplish or succeed by doing this," Evola said. Bozeman Police Dept. Detective Scott McCormick told NBC Montana when a cyber threat is reported, law enforcement officials trace the IP address, which indicates where the message was sent. McCormick believes Dark Overlord targeted schools in the Flathead because the hacker may have thought local law enforcement would have access to less resources that would help locate the source of the threat. "Getting that IP address can really lead us in the right direction," McCormick said. "Sometimes, if we don't have the right IP address, then we have to take steps that we might not be able to do here at the Bozeman Police Department." If that becomes the case, McCormick said, local law enforcement typically calls in the FBI, which is exactly what officials in Flathead County did this week. If you ever receive a threatening message demanding money, McCormick said you should keep the message as evidence, call your local authorities, and do not send the money.