Cybercriminals and extortionists demanding Bitcoin as ransom is on the rise these days. Due to the easy of transfer and pseudonymity associated with Bitcoin transactions, it has become the currency of choice for them. We have been hearing about ransomware, hacking incidents where sensitive data is stolen from computers and even extortion by threatening to physically harm an individual, the only common factor in all these cases is the ransom, to be paid in Bitcoin.
There is one such cybercriminal group called DD4BC who have made it a regular habit to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on the websites belonging to Scandinavian companies. Once they launch an initial DDoS attack, they will blackmail these companies to pay about 40 bitcoins to avoid further attacks on their IT infrastructure.
In most cases, the group sends out emails to the targeted firm within hours of launching the first DDoS attack. These emails, demanding ransom in Bitcoins also promises the victims that it is a one-time thing and if they pay the ransom, DD4BC will not attack them again. DD4BC also claims in the mail that even though they do bad things, they are going to keep their word.
It is surprising that the group which was targeting European banks and financial institutions all these days has suddenly shifted their target to businesses in Scandinavia.
Recently DD4BC allegedly tried to extort money from Bitalo Bitcoin Exchange – 1 BTC in exchange for information on how to prevent DDoS attack. But the plan seemed to backfire when the CEO of the Exchange, Martin Albert announced a bounty of 100 BTC for information about the person/people behind DD4BC. Among the list of Bitcoin sites targeted by DD4BC includes CEX.io and Bitcoin sports book Nitrogen Sports.
Recently an Australian company was hacked into by unidentified perpetrators. They allegedly stole sensitive data, asking for ransom. They have also threatened to harm family members of one of the top officials from that company.