Feeds

DDoS blackmailers busted in cross-border swoop

Cyber hoodlums targeted gold and silver traders

Boost IT visibility and business value

Chinese and Hong Kong cops are hailing another success in their cross-border cyber policing efforts with the scalp of a high profile DDoS blackmail gang which targeted gold, silver and securities traders in the former British colony.

Six cyber hoodlums were arrested on the mainland in Hunan, Hubei, Shanghai and other locations at the end of June, according to a report in local Hong Kong rag The Standard.

Some 16 Hong Kong-based firms including the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange were targeted in the scheme designed to blackmail them to the tune of 460,000 yuan (£46,200).

The gang apparently threatened to cripple their victims’ web operations with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks if they didn’t cough up.

Four of the targeted firms transferred funds totalling 290,000 yuan (£29,150) into designated bank accounts in mainland China, the report said.

A source also told The Standard that some of the victims may have been involved in some shady dealings themselves, which made them more reluctant to seek police help.

Roy Ko, centre manager of the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team (HKCERT) told The Reg that the arrests are an indication of improving cross-border cyber policing efforts.

“Working with counterparts cross border is always a challenge because of different practices, languages, different time zones and so on. Usually, HK and the mainland maintain a good working relationship, just like the HKCERT and CNCERT,” he said.

“Because we are in the same time zone, the response is usually quicker than working with the US, for example, where we have to wait until the next day to get a response.”

Ko also warned that the attacks show this form of cyber threat is still a popular one for avaricious criminal gangs.

“Firms have to assess whether they are a probable target of such an attack – ie whether they rely heavily on the internet to do business – and then prepare countermeasures,” he added.

“Subscribing to an anti-DDoS service may be part of the protection strategy in addition to anti-malware, firewall, etc.”

Hong Kong businesses have been warned before that they’re fair game to hackers from neighbouring China.

Experts told El Reg last month that multinationals in the Special Administrative Region of China cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to cyber security. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?