Rise of bitcoin extortionist group threatens HK banks says Akamai

Some regional banks in Hong Kong have been preyed upon by bitcoin extortionist group known as DD4BC, according to Akamai Technologies.

John Ellis, Chief Strategist for Cyber Security, APJ, Akamai“In Asia, we saw the initial round of activity by DD4BC in Australia and New Zealand. We have seen it in Hong Kong with some of the regional banks. We are also seeing it happening in South Korea and Japan,” said John Ellis (photo left), chief strategist for cyber security, Asia Pacific and Japan at Akamai.

DD4BC started in North America a year ago and has been threatening to launch DDoS attacks on corporate servers to disable their targets unless a bitcoin ransom is paid. According to Akamai, initial demand requests average 10-20 bitcoin. However, ransom demand can range as low as 1 bitcoin, to as much as 100 bitcoins. The current exchange rate is approximately US$230 per bitcoin. There is no true rationale why a specific amount is requested.

To date, the banking sector is its biggest focus although it has expanded its sights to other vertical markets as well.

Between September 2014 and August 2015, Akamai’s Prolexic Security Engineering Research Team (PLXsert ) has mitigated a total of 141 confirmed DD4BC attacks against Akamai customers. Of those attacks, the average bandwidth was 13.34Gbps, with the largest DDoS attack recorded at 56.2 Gbps.

“We have different things that we can do at the edge of the Internet [to mitigate the DDOS attack] so that there is no impact in the backend. The customer’s environment continues to operate irrespective of the fact that they are under attack,” Ellis said. Akamai is deployed on over 200,000 edge servers in over

Originally appeared at: http://enterpriseinnovation.net/article/rise-bitcoin-extortionist-group-threatens-hk-banks-says-akamai-1023260338