Extortion and Data Breaches - The Growing Threat
I wrote a piece here in the newsletter a few months back that talked about the Ashley Madison breach that was subsequently picked up by the Credit Union Journal. The article talks about how the new extortion tactics are the latest threat to internet security. Now we’re reading about a new group of cybercriminals, calling themselves DD4BC (DDoS for bitcoin), who are blackmailing banks and other financial institutions with distributed denial of service attacks in order to extort bitcoins. A report by Akamai published earlier this month provides the full statistics available on the attacks and includes the emails sent by the group asking for ransom in bitcoin. DDoS attacks are nothing new, but the emergence of bitcoin as an anonymous medium of exchange has dramatically reduced the risks for the attackers. Stuart Scholly, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Security Division at Akamai said that the latest attacks – focused primarily on the financial service industry – involved new strategies and tactics intended to harass, extort and ultimately embarrass the victim publicly by sending GET requests to the target, thus overloading its website. One of the financial institutions apparently struck was major Australian financial institution, Macquarie. It’s mostly happening in Europe, but what happens in other countries, usually migrates its way to the US. Just another reason to be diligent about security and keep up to date on the latest threats.
~John-Ashley Paul, President/CEO