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Court Sentenced Russian Fraudsters For DoS Attacks

As per a news report, three Russian cyber miscreants accused of conducting a series of DoS attacks targeted UK bookmakers in 2003 were each sentenced to eight years of imprisonment and a fine of $3,700, this month.

The 'Russian News and Information Agency' (RIA Novosti) identified the three men as Ivan Maksakov, Alexander Petrov and Denis Stepanov. The three committed 'denial-of-service' attacks on online casinos and bookmakers worldwide by using spyware developed by Maksakov. They harassed the companies by continuing the attacks unless they paid ransoms. This way they extorted over $4 million from their targeted companies.

As per the Russian Public Prosecutor, when the web server of 'Canbet Sports Bookmarkers Ltd.' refused to pay the ransom of $10,000, a DoS attack was launched to block it during 'Breeders' Cup races'. Due to this, the company suffered a loss of $200,000 each day!

The Russian guys carried on their activities for six months during which they attacked more than 54 web servers in 30 countries. They finally put a break when authorities detected and arrested them between 2004 and 2005.

DoS attacks were a serious affliction of Internet between 2002 and 2004, said anti-virus firm 'Kaspersky'. However, since then, the number of attacks has dropped, making this type of cyber crime almost extinct. Of course the practice of converting zombie networks used to make such attacks hasn't eroded. The situation now is that the criminals have discovered more profitable and less dangerous methods to use these networks, such as for delivering spam, scattering adware and stealing users' personal details.

The defendants in the court did not admit their crime covering it by saying that they got acquainted and were in contact through ICQ and IRC. However, they accepted that they had some unfriendly software at home, but they only exchanged it with friends to satisfy curiosity and discuss about hacker findings. This explanation of course couldn't persuade the court.

While on the one hand, use of DoS attacks to make monetary gains may be decreasing, on the other, attackers are experimenting with viruses that encrypt a victim's data and blackmail companies for money.

Related article: Court Acquits Student From Generating Fake Boarding Passes

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