Thursday, May 19, 2005

Organised crime gets in on the action

In a trend I have seen in many customers as long as 18 months back, criminals are increasingly targeting corporations with distributed denial-of-service attacks designed not to disrupt business networks but to extort thousands of dollars from the companies.

From the US to Europe and Africa, I have spoken with clients who have fallen victim to this extortion. Typically targeted are online gaming sites and payment providers or e-commerce sites that rely 100% on their servers and links being available all the time.

I have stated in a few white papers as early as 2003 that the spate of virus and malicious code/worms we have been witnessing for the last two years is merely Act-1 of the malicious code saga, laying the groundwork for millions of infected PC's "owned" by hacking groups who then on-sell their "real estate" of zombie armies to organised crime for DDos attacks for a "rental fee".

Those targeted are increasingly deciding to pay the extortionists rather than accept the consequences, experts say. While reports of this type of crime have circulated for several years, most victimized companies remain reluctant to acknowledge the attacks or enlist the help of law enforcement, resulting in limited awareness of the problem and few prosecutions.

The attached article goes into this in nice depth and is worth viewing
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