Cyber Criminal Group DD4BC Strikes Hong Kong Bank Websites

The DD4BC cyber criminal group has been attacking Hong Kong bank websites with disabling attacks, demanding they pay bitcoin ransoms, The South China Morning Post reported. This is the most recent report of this group’s activity, which has been reported worldwide.

Akami, a web security and performance firm, said DD4BC has been targeting websites around the world with more than 100 distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks since at least September 2014.

Attackers Demand Bitcoin Payments

The attackers demand payment in bitcoin to stop the DDoS attacks, which can take down servers and cost businesses thousands of dollars per hour.

“DD4BC has been using the threat of DDoS attacks to secure bitcoin payments from its victims for protection against future attacks,” said Stuart Scholly, Akamai senior vice president. “The latest attacks – focused primarily on the financial service industry – involved new strategies and tactics intended to harass, extort and ultimately embarrass the victim publicly.”botnet 2

“Malicious actors are continually changing the game by switching tactics, seeking out new vulnerabilities and even bringing back old techniques that were considered outdated,” added John Summers, vice president of Akamai’s cloud security business unit.

Also read: Botnet surge expected after malware builder leak

Attacks Launch From China and Vietnam

Attacks launch from botnets, groups of compromised or hacked machines managed from a central server. Such networks have proliferated in recent years, particularly in mainland China and Vietnam, according to the security firm FireEye.

Akamai researchers tracked the DD4BC for a year and found that it initially targeted businesses and financial institutions using low-scale DDoS attacks.

“From June through July 2015, the attacks increased from low-level to more than 20 (gigabytes per second) in some cases,” the firm said in a statement.

The group would then demand a bitcoin ransom to protect the company from a larger DDoS attack designed to make its website inaccessible.

DD4BC also threatened to expose organizations on social media, creating additional reputational damage and embarrassment. Incapsula, a cybersecurity firm, said DDoS attacks can cost upwards of US$40,000 per hour in lost business and server damage.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Lester Coleman is a veteran business journalist based in the United States. He has covered the payments industry for several years and is available for writing assignments.