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Attacks/Breaches

Attackers Kill Anti-Fraud Site

Fraudwatchers.org buckles, collapses under weight of month-long denial-of-service attack

Some days, the hackers win.

The operators of Fraudwatchers.org had one of those days earlier this week when they announced -- from another site -- that they are finally giving up their fight against a persistent denial-of-service attack and closing their site down.

The site, which tracked and reported on online scams and scammers, has been overwhelmed by botnet-borne traffic since August. "At the moment, there is no way of knowing for how long the zombie attacks will continue," says the site's chief executive, who is known only as Aldavor. "...it is extremely doubtful whether [Fraudwatch] will ever again see the light of day."

Fraudwatch didn't give up without a fight. After attempting to stem the DOS attack by working with its hosting provider, the fraud site then moved its operations to a separate server. "When the site moved to another exclusive server, [the DOS attack] increased in its intensity to the extent that the entire server bank was being adversely affected," Aldavor reported earlier this week.

"Unfortunately, when we looked at implementing anti-DDOS solutions, the cost for providing those were prohibitive -- around four to five times the monthly cost of the actual dedicated server -- and sadly, we did not receive adequate offers of assistance from any tier one, backbone, or in fact other providers, that would have ensured sufficient bandwidth to cater for the DDOS onslaught."

The attack on Fraudwatchers is just one of several botnet-borne attacks on anti-hacker sites launched this year. Castlecops, for example, has been dealing with attacks since February. (See Black Hat: Botnets Go One-on-One.)

The Fraudwatcher site, which had amassed a database of information on fake lotteries, bogus employment schemes, Internet dating scams, money laundering schemes, and fake auctions, said it will make that database available to other anti-fraud organizations.

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Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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