Empty DDoS threats earn extortion group over $100,000
Extorting money from companies under the threat of launching distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) against their online properties has proven lucrative for cybercriminals. So much so that one group has managed to earn over $100,000 without any evidence that it’s even capable of mounting attacks.
Since early March, hundreds of businesses have received threatening emails from a group calling itself the Armada Collective, asking to be paid between 10 and 50 bitcoins — US$4,600 to $23,000 — as a “protection fee” or face DDoS attacks exceeding 1Tbps.
While many of them did not comply, some did; the group’s bitcoin wallet address shows incoming payments of over $100,000 in total. Yet none of the companies who declined to pay the protection fee were attacked, website protection firm CloudFlare found.