Cyber-Extortionists Targeting the Financial Sector Are Demanding Bitcoin Ransoms / Olivia Solon / September 9, 2015 — 6:32 PM PHT

‘DD4BC’ is carrying out a string of attacks. Should companies cough up?

A cybercriminal group going by the name “DD4BC” is blackmailing financial institutions, threatening to take down their customer websites unless they pay a hefty bitcoin ransom.

DD4BC – which stands for “DDoS for Bitcoin” (Distributed Denial of Service for Bitcoin) – has been targeting firms since mid-2014, so far evading international police forces.

The group initially hit bitcoin mining companies, exchanges and online casinos with a handful of attacks per month. But over the last few months it has ramped up activity and turned its attention to the financial sector  – banks, brokerages and automated clearing houses in Europe, Australia and the U.S. To date, the group has carried out almost 150 attacks, 58 percent of which have been directed at financial service companies, according to research by Akamai published on Wednesday.