Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Endpoint

4/26/2016
09:10 AM
50%
50%

Extortionists Demand Ransom In 'Empty' DDoS Threats

Gang of cybercriminals calling itself the Armada Collective threatens online businesses in return for Bitcoins.

An extortionist hacker group calling itself Armada Collective is sending e-mail threats to organizations demanding money or they will wage distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against them -- but the DDoS threats apparently are a ruse.

CloudFlare discovered some 100 organizations who were threatened with a "protection fee" with payment to be made in Bitcoins ranging from 10- to 50, about $4,600 to $23,000. Thus far, the group, which goes by the name of a former DDoS gang, has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars, without even carrying out one DDoS attack.

The email campaign warns the recipient to pay up or face powerful DDoS attacks of "sometimes over 1 Tbps per second." It even goes on to claim that the attacks will bypass CloudFlare and other protection providers. 

"Our conclusion was a bit of a surprise: we've been unable to find a single incident where the current incarnation of the Armada Collective has actually launched a DDoS attack. In fact, because the extortion emails reuse Bitcoin addresses, there's no way the Armada Collective can tell who has paid and who has not. In spite of that, the cybercrooks have collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in extortion payments," wrote Matthew Prince, CEO of CloudFlare in a blog post.

The same company is sometimes sent the identical threat mail over and over again even if it has paid the extortion fee. There is also no correlation between the size of the victim organization and the sum demanded from it, according to CloudFlare.

Read more about the extortion scheme on the CloudFlare Blog

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
RyanSepe
50%
50%
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
4/26/2016 | 3:25:15 PM
Interesting
Its amazing that they have amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars without providing any proof they could back it up. I can't understand why an organization would submit to a threat so whimsically.
JBB852
50%
50%
JBB852,
User Rank: Strategist
4/26/2016 | 11:58:31 AM
Akaimi seemed to think they have (or once had) capability
Aviation Faces Increasing Cybersecurity Scrutiny
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/22/2019
Microsoft Tops Phishers' Favorite Brands as Facebook Spikes
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/22/2019
MoviePass Leaves Credit Card Numbers, Personal Data Exposed Online
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/21/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2016-6154
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
The authentication applet in Watchguard Fireware 11.11 Operating System has reflected XSS (this can also cause an open redirect).
CVE-2019-5594
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
An Improper Neutralization of Input During Web Page Generation ("Cross-site Scripting") in Fortinet FortiNAC 8.3.0 to 8.3.6 and 8.5.0 admin webUI may allow an unauthenticated attacker to perform a reflected XSS attack via the search field in the webUI.
CVE-2019-6695
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
Lack of root file system integrity checking in Fortinet FortiManager VM application images of all versions below 6.2.1 may allow an attacker to implant third-party programs by recreating the image through specific methods.
CVE-2019-12400
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
In version 2.0.3 Apache Santuario XML Security for Java, a caching mechanism was introduced to speed up creating new XML documents using a static pool of DocumentBuilders. However, if some untrusted code can register a malicious implementation with the thread context class loader first, then this im...
CVE-2019-15092
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
The webtoffee "WordPress Users & WooCommerce Customers Import Export" plugin 1.3.0 for WordPress allows CSV injection in the user_url, display_name, first_name, and last_name columns in an exported CSV file created by the WF_CustomerImpExpCsv_Exporter class.