Tuesday January 12,2016 : INTERNATIONAL POLICE BUST D.D.O.S. GROUP
Two arrested in police swoops.
Distributed Denial of Service attacks – the tactic used by criminal groups to cripple websites and then demand ransoms – are the bane of most industries, and a recent police victory in the fight against this threat to business will be widely welcomed.
The security publication CSO Online reports that enforcement agency EuroPol has just publicised a December bust by law enforcement officials in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany and the U.K. which hammered the DDOS group DD4BC aka DDoS 4 Bitcoin and resulted in the arrest of two individuals.
The police swoops are apparently part of an ongoing investigation into these notorious criminals, who have become well-known over the past eighteen months due to their activities against a variety of targets in various online industries.
Among others, they have been associated with extortion cases flowing from the Ashley Madison (adulterous dating site) hack which received so much publicity last year as details of site members were exposed.
A statement from EuroPol reveals that on December 15 and 16, an international police operation titled Op Pleiades raided key members of DD4BC in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The raid resulted in both targets being detained, and the seizure of evidence for examination by experts using mobile laboratories.
The statement claims that DD4BC has been exploiting the increasing popularity of "pseudonymous payment mechanisms" and has been responsible for several Bitcoin extortion campaigns since mid-2014.
"DD4BC primarily targeted the online gambling industry, but has recently broadened their activity to the financial services and entertainment sector as well as other high-profile companies," EuroPol claims.
"Businesses that pay the ransom to the blackmailers risk appearing vulnerable and being targeted again for a higher amount."
Wil van Gemert, EuroPol’s deputy director operations, says the success of Op Pleiades highlights the importance of incident reporting and information sharing between law enforcement agencies and the targets of DDoS and extortion attacks.