New Delhi, Sept 23: In the past couple of months, cyber crime agencies have been receiving complaints of cyber extortion. A team based in the Middle East has been hacking into company profiles and extorting money failing which the companies have been threatened that information would be made public.
Cyber crime officials while confirming this development informed OneIndia that four such incidents have come to light. While two involve companies the other two are relating to banks, the officer also informed.
The companies whose sites have been hacked and information stolen have been told by the hackers to cough up money to the tune to Rs 3 to Rs 5 million. The investigations would show that two of these incidents have emerged out of the Middle East.
There appears to be a dedicated team which focuses on extracting crucial information from the websites of the companies and threatening to make it public if the money is not coughed up.
In one of the cases, the company has even coughed up the money. Now with the information provided to the cyber crime department the investigators are tracking the origin of the hack.
Cyber extortion has become an increasing trend world over. The hackers gain access to important files of the companies and also strategy. They never use the information, but use it to extort money. It has become a concern the cyber crime official states while also adding that companies must step up security in their networks.
The use of the Botnet
In these attacks it was noticed that the attacks were carried out through botnets. The botnets or the Zombie army as defined by searchsecurity.techtarget.com is a number of internet computers that, although their owners are unaware of it, have been set up to forward transmissions (including spam or viruses) to other computers on the Internet.
Any such computer is referred to as a zombie - in effect, a computer "robot" or "bot" that serves the wishes of some master spam or virus originator. Most computers compromised in this way are home-based.
According to a report from Russian-based Kaspersky Labs, botnets -- not spam, viruses, or worms -- currently pose the biggest threat to the Internet. A report from Symantec came to a similar conclusion.