Interesting piece in yesterday’s Gold Coast Bulletin (no URL available without subscription) about the role of the Russian Mafia, or more specifically, criminal gangs from the former Soviet Union, in Australia.
It cites several cases of Denial of Service attacks in retaliation for refusal to pay blackmail or protection money:
When Multibet.com CEO Mike Miller early this year received a threatening demand for money from a group calling itself the Russian Mafia, he angrily told them to `stick their $US10,000 up their backside and and go bother someone else”. The response was immediate. He said his company was electronically attacked, disabling its website for 20 days. Unable to respond in any way, Multibet.com agreed to pay and sent the money via Western Union to a Latvian bank account.
A similar thing happened to Alice Springs-based sports betting organisation Centrebet: Refusal to pay brought the site down in five minutes, the report says. The newspaper also quotes police as saying that there have been four recent phishing cases on the Gold Coast , “an indication use of the scam was on the rise”. They said the arrested men which I mentioned earlier, a former Muscovite and a 22-year-old formerly from Belarus, were mates and had contacts with Russian Mafia members in Sydney and overseas.
There’s more on the DDoS attacks in The Australian: the attack on Multibet took place four times, and disabled the site for 20 days. The newspaper later reported the attack brought down the Telstra network in Alice Springs, where the two betting sites are located. Another betting site in Wollongong, Sportsbetting.com, was also brought down for refusing to pay. Interestingly another newspaper quoted the owner of Multibet as saying that two months after paying $20,000 to the gang he was attacked again. The original gang denied they were responsible, so he has since been “paying an American company $US3500 per month to install a protective screen to thwart the extortionists…” No further details on this ‘protective screen’ are available.