Tag: extortion

Extortion via encryption

A trojan horse is running around, encrypting folks’ data, and demanding cash for its safe unravelling. Sophos has already found the password, but I wouldn’t have been worried anyway. Why?

Because I back my stuff up. And you should too. Whether it is a sneaky virus trying to empty your pockets, or a hard drive head slamming down on a platter, it makes no difference. Your data is now toast.

Botnet double duty

We know botnets around here as the scourge that dispenses spam. But lets not forget that failure to clean up the messes does more than add to the spam problem. Criminals are still using botnets to redirect URLs, muck up browser home pages, and the like, and they are also using them to direct denial-of-service attacks and extort money out of website operators to “fix” the mess. They are a still growing problem, with few solutions in site.

MillionDollarHomePage.com getting millions of hits

Unfortunately, they are not the kind of hits any webmaster wants.

Alex Tew put up a site that collected a dollar per pixel for advertising space. It was a brilliant idea, and he made a million on it. Now, scumbags are coming out of the woodwork for their take, and perpetrating a DDoS attack since the founder won’t pay up.

Tew sold the space on the page for something like ten years. That is a long time to fight extortionists. I wonder what his terms of service are.

Proving Spammers Know They Are Stupid

Anthony Greco, the teenager who tried to extort money out of MySpace.com, has plead guilty to attempting to damage a computer system with “intent to extort.” This is tantamount to an admission of stupidity.