E-commerce targeted by blackmailers

© 2003 BBC

Wednesday, 26th November 2003 [Excerpt] - Law enforcement agencies are investigating an increasing number of reports of organised criminal gangs carrying out denial-of-service (DDos) attacks - with the specific intention of blackmailing companies.

A DDos attack, of the kind that brought down the WorldPay system earlier this month, floods a website with computer-generated requests.

Now, some organised criminals are using the threat of inflicting such an attack, which can cost vast amounts of money to the company, as a means of extortion.

"Criminal syndicates operating from Russia have targeted large online payment systems that belong to gambling sites," DK Matai of mi2g, which monitors unauthorised computer hacking, told BBC World Service's Analysis programme.

"In some cases the criminal syndicates have made subsequent phone calls and said, 'look, you have to pay us $40,000 or $50,000 before we will stop mounting these DDos attacks. If you don't pay us, then be ready for another day of disruption for your customers'."

"Some companies, because they are making more than $50,000 per week, have agreed to pay that money."

Cashing in

DDos attacks work by flooding a website with malicious traffic, causing it to slow down.

mi2g estimate that the damage to the global economy in terms of both denial of service and productivity losses reached over $10bn in October alone.

The company maintains close contacts with the law enforcement agencies on both sides of the Atlantic.

It has identified Russia - along with other emerging middle-income nations such as India, China and Brazil - as the country where many of the criminal hackers appear to be based.

To read the full artice please visit BBC News or click the BBC Logo above.

Renowned worldwide for the ATCA Briefings. Subscribe now.
Home - Profile - Values - People - Careers - Partners - Contact Us
D2 Banking - Bespoke Security Architecture - Digital Risk Management - Tools

Intelligence Briefings - Brochures - Case Studies -
SIPS Methodology FAQ (pdf)
Keynote Speeches - Articles - News Feeds - Glossary (pdf)
Terms and Conditions - Privacy Policy