Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/01/18/pixel_attack/

Million $ pixel site blackmailed

Floored by DDoS attack

By Tim Richardson

Posted in Security, 18th January 2006 12:40 GMT

Milliondollarhomepage.com has been pummelled over the past week by extortionists looking to cash-in on the success of the pixel-flogging site.

The site has received worldwide media attention after generating more than $1m in advertising revenue by selling pixels.

But earlier this month, Alex Tew, the UK student behind the site, received an email demanding he cough up $5,000 ($2,830) or risk facing a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. He received other ransom demands of up to $50,000 (£28,300) but ignored them.

Last Thursday, the site became the victim of a DDoS attack making milliondollarhomepage.com difficult to access. The site is still unsteady on its feet today.

In a statement on his site, Tew said: "I can confirm that MillionDollarHomepage.com has been subjected to a DDoS attack by malicious hackers who have caused the site to be extremely slow loading or completely unavailable since last Thursday, 12 January 2006.

"I can also confirm that a demand for a substantial amount of money was made which makes this a criminal act of extortion. The FBI are investigating and I'm currently working closely with my hosting company, Sitelutions, to bring the site back online as soon as possible. More news soon."

Although it's too early to say, experts have told Tew they suspect the DDoS attacks originate from Russia.

Tew told the BBC: "I haven't replied to any of them as I don't want to give them the satisfaction and I certainly don't intend to pay them any money." ®