Notorious Bitcoin extortion group DD4BC is aiming higher with its attacks in 2015 with the group said to be now targeting major corporations and financial institutions.
The group, who uses distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks as part of their extortion attempts, was found to have targeted 114 customers of cloud and content delivery network company Akamai Technologies, Inc., since April this year, Akamai states in a newly released cybersecurity case study.
“DD4BC has been using the threat of DDoS attacks to secure Bitcoin payments from its victims for protection against future attacks,” Akamai Senior Vice President General Manager, Security Division, Stuart Scholly said in a statement. “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.”
The group, whoxe initials are borrowed from the old joke political campaign “Drunk Drivers for Bush Chaney,” first came to wider attention in 2014 when it started targeting various companies with DDoS attacks in return for Bitcoin payments, and as we reported in February this year, not without irony some of those targeted companies included Bitcoin exchanges and wallet providers.
According to the Akamai report the group uses e-mail to inform its target that a low-level DDoS attack will be launched against the victim’s website if it does not cough up a Bitcoin payment, varying in amount depending on the size of the company targeted.
From June through July 2015, the attacks, now targeting financial services, media and entertainment, online gaming and retailers, increased from low-level to more than 20 Gbps in some cases when the initial demand for payment wasn’t met.