by Mike Masnick

The Ongoing Fight Against Online Extortionists

from the tracking-them-down dept

In the past two years, one of the more popular online crimes has become online extortion, where some hackers with access to a zombie network threaten to take a site offline if the owners don't pay up. Often these attacks are targeted at porn and gambling sites since they're less likely to call the authorities for help. While the attacks are still effective, it appears that there's been at least some fighting back. Back in August we had a story about tracking down some online extortionists and now InfoWorld's blog points us to a detailed New Yorker piece about a company that helps protect websites against zombie attacks, while also helping the authorities track down and capture those involved with the attacks. What comes across in the article, though, is how much alike the zombie hunters are from the zombie extortionists. They may have very similar backgrounds -- but just chose to be on different sides of the battle: either taking companies offline for money, or helping them stay online for money.

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