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© RIA Novosti. Ruslan Krivobok

Police bust DDoS cyber-crime ring

by at 24/02/2012 19:16

 

Moscow police have smashed a cyber-crime ring that specialized in targeting web sites with DDoS attacks for money, as well as breaking into email and social networking accounts. The arrests come as leading computer security company Kaspersky Labs announced that in the second half of 2011, Russia had become the leading originator of DDoS attacks worldwide. 

 

Cybercriminal mastermind brothers

Police announced on Friday that they had apprehended a group of high-tech hackers, led by two Moscow-based brothers who employed various specialists including programmers to launch their cyber attacks, Gazeta.ru reported on Friday. According to police estimates the brothers had netted more than 10 million rubles over the last three years.

The criminal group had a second headquarters located in the Tatarstan town of Almetyevsk, where their computer hacking force was located. The brothers would look for the potential clients in Moscow.

At the same time, all the criminal group’s participants maintained heightened secrecy and resorted to using intermediaries to send and receive money from clients,” police investigators said. During searches of the group’s Almetyevsk apartments, police uncovered detailed records of each order they had received, broken-into accounts and stolen passwords. The investigation is ongoing.

 

Russia leading the way in DDoS attacks

Meanwhile, Kaspersky Labs announced this week that Russia had powered its way to the top of the worldwide charts for DDoS attacks. Distributed denial-of-service attacks involve thousands of infected zombie computers simultaneously launching an assault on a target, overwhelming it and denying legitimate users access. Kaspersky DDoS Prevention Systems reported that 16 percent of DDoS traffic recorded by the system originated in Russia in the second half of 2011. This was followed by Ukraine at second place with 12 percent, and Thailand with 7 percent and Malaysia with 6 percent. The table’s top three for the first six months of 2011 were three different nations, however: United States followed by Poland and Indonesia.

 

Attack of the Russian zombie robots

Kaspersky attributed the rise of Russia in part to increased defenses used to ward off the attacks. In the event of a DDoS assault, filters can block traffic to all countries other than the country where most of the site’s users usually reside. Such a defense filter requires that attackers maintain a large network of zombie-robot computers in the country of the site they plan to attack. Kaspersky said that increasing demand for DDoS attacks on Russian sites had led to the increase in the number of assaults launched by Russia-based computers. Internet shopping and gaming sites represent the most popular target for extortionary DDoS attacks, with these sites representing 20 and 15 percent of all targets. Political targets have also been growing in popularity, Newsru.com reported. The run up to Russia’s election season saw the sites of Ekho Moskvy, Slon.ru, Kasparov.ru, The New Times and others come under DDoS attacks.

 

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