During the last couple of months, ransomware attacks have increased significantly, thus forcing online businesses from all around the world to pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of bitcoin to scammers.
However, a group known by the name of Armada Collective has decided to take advantage of the fear caused by the increasing number of DDoS attacks, and make some money for themselves. To learn more about the cybercriminals, CloudFlare has decided to take matters into their own hands, and investigate.
The conclusion is quite shocking, as while over 100 CloudFlare customers have been targeted and paid out the required amounts, none of the DDoS attack claims were put to act for those who refused to pay. Additionally, the cybercriminals also lack credibility, considering the fact that all targets have been requested to pay the same amount, to the same bitcoin addresses, thus making it impossible for the extortionists to figure out who paid and who didn’t.
Regardless of this, it has been concluded that since they began operating, Armada Collective has received over $100,000 worth of bitcoin in their addresses.
The extortion email looks similar to those sent out by hackers who do end up carrying out their attacks, as it proceeds to ask the company to pay 10 BTC, or else DDoS attacks will commence. The emails also give out a deadline, after which the amount will double up, alongside with the address that the payment should be sent to. While the charlatans claim that the attacks are incredibly powerful, and that the email is not a joke, it turns out that Armada Collective is a fake. While there is no actual attack, Armada’s plan is still quite lucrative, as a high percentage of online businesses that are emailed choose to pay the extortion fee in order to stay safe.
It’s also worth pointing out that this isn’t the first group to title themselves as Armada Collective. In fact, the past group carrying the same name carried out DDoS attacks, after issuing the threats. However, that group went silent back in November 2015. Currently, it is suspected that the actual Armada Collective group is linked to the DD4BC scammers.
However, the actual issue is considerably more significant, as there are indeed actual charlatans who initiate DDoS attacks and do not stop until their demands are met. While law enforcement agencies from all around the world have begun investigating, not many advancements have been made so far.
Chances are that the only way to stay safe from such attacks is to employ proficient DDoS protection from your hosting company, and to hope that you’re not chosen as the next target.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, what do you personally think about the technique employed by Armada Collective to scam online businesses out of their money? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.