The cybersecurity group Akamai is tracking extortionists claiming to represent prominent hacker groups, including the Russian Intelligence group Fancy Bear, demanding ransom under threat of massive denial of service attacks.
The extortionists targeted companies in multiple industries, including banking, finance and retail, with up to a 2 terabit a second distributed denial of service attack. For scale, a record DDoS attack of 2.3 terabits a second was set earlier this year.
Akamai has seen two similar versions of the ransom demand: one under the guise of Fancy Bear and another as the criminal group the Armada Collective. The letters ask for 20 bitcoin (roughly $240,000) and 5 bitcoin ($60,000) respectively, with the ransom increasing daily if not paid. Some letters threaten a small demonstration of capabilities. Akamai has logged a 50 gigabit a second attack in that vein.