Cyber Extortion

Welcome to web page providing information related to cyber extortion, security awareness and information security.

Cyber extortion is the act of cyber-criminals demanding payment through the use of or threat of some form of malicious activity against a victim, such as data compromise or denial of service attack. Cyber extortion permeates actions such as ransomware, email ransom campaigns, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. (2020,

Ransomware. Since August 2015, ransomware infections have been leading the charge in cyber extortion with no foreseeable slowdown. Victims of ransomware are most commonly met with a demand to pay criminals the equivalent of $200 to $1,000 in bitcoin, although other currencies, gift cards, and ransoms of up to several thousand dollars are occasionally reported. 

Email-Based Extortion. Cyber extortion is also occurring via email-based ransom demands. With this tactic, recipients are told that their personal information will be released to their social media contacts, family, and friends if a ransom is not paid. The recipient is then instructed to pay in some form of currency (such as bitcoin) with an extremely tight deadline. Commonly reported ransom amounts range from approximately $250 to $1,200.

DDoS for Bitcoin. Throughout 2015 and 2016, email-based DDoS for bitcoin scams targeted a variety of industries. These emails often claimed to be originating from well-known hacktivist groups such as the Armada Collective or Lizard Squad, and demand that a ransom be paid or DDoS attacks will occur. 


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