As part of an overall crackdown on hacking, the Ukrainian authorities have successfully prosecuted two cyber criminals who had been operating a distributed denial of service (DDoS) extortion scheme for several years. The two miscreants – one male, one female – also ran a dating agency.
Their first target was a rival online dating site, with whom they had initially had a working partnership. Once the two businesses fell out of love, the hackers perpetrated a series of lengthy and damaging DDoS attacks on their former partner over an eighteen-month period. When this was followed by a $10K ransom demand, the victim called in specialist assistance. By now the attackers had spread their theatre of operation to include US targets, demanding 50 bitcoins for not launching a DDoS.
Eventually, the investigators identified the hackers and alerted the Ukrainian authorities. The pair were arrested and handed down five-year suspended prison sentences. This is the latest in a series of successful recent anti- cybercrime operations in Ukraine.