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The Register
  26 November 2001
  Updated: 15:47 GMT

DDoS protection racket targets online bookies
By John Leyden
Posted: 26/11/2001 at 14:57 GMT

Organised criminals are using distributed denial of service (DDoS)
to force online bookmakers into protection rackets, a British security
consultancy claims.

Information Risk Management says it is aware of DDoS extortion attempts
against three, unnamed, online bookies. According to Neil Barrett,
director, this is the "online equivalent of heavies coming around to a
and making veiled threats about how easy stock could burn before
'insurance' money".

Victims are subjected first to a network-based denial of service attack,
which can render their site unavailable for a time. When this eases,
are approached by an "Internet security consultancy" which promises that
attacks can be stopped, in return for a monthly payment.

Requests for payment from the criminals involved appeared to go through
Russia, though the provenance of the gang, or gangs, is uncertain. Firms
experience such extortion threats should contact the police, Barrett

The DDoS protection scam is another example of criminals re-inventing
favourite scams for the Internet.

In March the FBI warned that Eastern European crackers had spent a year
systematically exploiting known NT vulnerabilities to raid online
and ecommerce systems.

More than 40 companies were subject to attacks and more than a million
credit cards were thought to have been stolen, provoking the FBI to take
highly unusual step of providing details of an ongoing investigation in
hopes of limiting further damage. ®

Related stories
Russian Mafia uses NT flaws to raid Internet banks
Police urge business to report hi-tech crimes
European police ill-equipped to tackle cybercrime
IIS über-patch claims to wipe out all old Web server flaws
Amazon, despite denials, was warned about hack
Hackers, Windows NT and the FBI

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