Nothing attracts conspiracy theories quite like a national tragedy. Among American conspiracy theories, none has gotten quite so much attention as the 9/11 terrorist attacks (perhaps aside from the Kennedy Assassination). None of us will forget where we were that morning when we heard the news, the images of the airplanes hitting the buildings burned into our cultural consciousness like shadows left behind on concrete by nuclear blasts. No event has changed the course of modern American history quite like the September 11th attacks, and it is likely for that reason that so many conspiracy theories swirl around the event.
Chief among those conspiracy theories is the allegation that the U.S. government either orchestrated the attacks or allowed them to happen in order to build support for a shadowy New-World-Order-y agenda. There are also frequent allegations that the government covered up details of the attack and investigation or is otherwise lying about many of the events that took place on September 11, 2001 in order to protect those that were truly responsible for the event.
The chatter surrounding 9/11 conspiracies has quieted down somewhat in the eighteen years following the attacks, but things were brought back into the light of public scrutiny on New Year’s Eve when the infamous hacker group “The Dark Overlord” claimed it had breached the networks of a law firm which handles cases related to the 9/11 attacks. The group claimed it has stolen tens of thousands of files which could shed light on the 9/11 conspiracy theories and then naturally demanded a ransom, threatening to release the massive cache of the files if its demands weren’t met.
The Dark Overlord posted its announcement of the stolen 9/11 files to Pastebin, a popular website for storing and sharing stolen data or text. Through Twitter, the hacker group claimed it hacked three of the world’s largest insurers and will be “providing many answers about 9.11 conspiracies through our 18.000 secret documents leak.”
It’s not clear exactly what the hackers have stolen, because the 10GB archive of documents it claims to possess is still encrypted. According to its ransom note, the Dark Overlord will release decryption keys one at a time until its undisclosed ransom fee is paid in Bitcoin. “Pay the f*ck up, or we’re going to bury you with this. If you continue to fail us, we’ll escalate these releases by releasing the keys, each time a Layer is opened, a new wave of liability will fall upon you,” the ransom note reads.
Could this leak finally shed some light on any possible 9/11 conspiracies, or will this ransom be paid merely so that the personal information of thousands of insurers’ customers isn’t shared with the public? Of course, that would be the perfect excuse to pay the ransom and avoid leaking any “real” truth to the public – if there is any real truth to be shared. Will this be the leak to solve some or all of the mystery surrounding 9/11?