Extortion Is Growing Threat to Online Businesses

We sometimes hear about online extortion, but the reports often seem a little murky, with little detail, because companies often like to keep that kind of bad news quiet. But CSOOnline.com, the resource for security executives, has published a fascinating tale of one company’s efforts to fight back against extortionists and their distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS). The piece, “How a Bookmaker and a Whiz Kid Took On an Extortionist — and Won” is a must-read if you or your client have an interest in this side of internet crime.

Meanwhile ComputerWorld.com tells us that the number of DDoS attacks is growing. And more companies are paying up. Read “Extortion via DDoS on the rise” to find out what the experts are saying.

The threat moves closer to the individual user when we read a report by Joris Evers on CNET News.com. “Miscreants encrypt files, hold them for ransom” tells of the discovery by Websense Security Labs of extortionists using known flaws in Windows to encrypt files on a victim’s computer, then demanding payment in exchange for the key to unscramble their files.