Europol tracks DD4BC cyber-extortion gang to Bosnia

Police have arrested someone believed to be a key member of the DDoS-for-bitcoin cyber-extortion gang

Police believe they have nabbed a key figure behind a series of online extortion attacks that have taken place around the world over the last 18 months.

Operation Pleiades, a joint operation by police forces from around the world, led to the arrest of a "main target" and the detention of another suspect, Europol said Tuesday.

The denial-of-service attacks on webservers and the like made by group going by the name DD4BC (Distributed DoS for Bitcoin), are followed by an email threatening that the attack will be stepped up unless a payment is made in bitcoin.

Attackers using the name DD4BC have targeted businesses large and small -- and also email addresses leaked from the Ashley Madison website.

The timing of the attacks suggested that whoever was behind them was in Europe, while the grammar and spelling of the ransom demands suggested a non-native-English speaker, according to a report by Neustar Engineering analyzing the attacks.

The U.K.'s Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit came to the same conclusion, identifying key members of the network in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Police there, working with others from Austria, Germany and the U.K., conducted joint raids on Dec. 15 and 16, arresting one suspect and detaining another as evidence was seized following a series of property searches.

Europol deployed a mobile office as part of the action, giving investigators access to its forensic tools and databases.

The operation was supported by authorities in Australia, France, Japan, Romania, and Switzerland. Interpol, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Secret Service also helped coordinate the operation, Europol said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?