Distributed Denial of Service Extortion Attempts

Number: AL15-006
Date: 7 May 2015


The purpose of this alert is to bring attention to a recent campaign regarding attempted extortion threats of Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks.


CCIRC is aware of an attempted extortion campaign actively targeting website owners with threats of DDOS attacks if they do not pay a ransom. The group will send an email to demand that the recipient pay in Bitcoins (BTC) to a listed Bitcoin account. To demonstrate that the threat is credible, shortly after receiving the email, the organisations are then hit with a short-duration DDOS attack, lasting up to an hour.  If the recipient does not pay by the deadline, usually 24 hours, the threatened DDOS attack will begin and the price to stop the DDOS will increase and keep increasing by the hour until the payment is received.

Suggested action

CCIRC recommends that organizations do not pay the ransom and that they report this type of activity to their local RCMP http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/detach/en and CCIRC at cyber-incident@ps-sp.gc.ca. CCIRC recommends organisations discuss DDOS mitigation and best practices with their internet service provider.



Note to Readers

In support of Public Safety's mission to build a safe and resilient Canada, CCIRC's mandate is to help ensure the security and resilience of the vital non-federal government cyber systems that underpin Canada's national security, public safety and economic prosperity. As Canada's computer security incident response team, CCIRC is Canada's national coordination centre for the prevention and mitigation of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from cyber incidents on non-federal government systems. It does this by providing authoritative advice and support, and coordinating information sharing and incident response.

Please note, CCIRC PGP key has recently been updated.

For general information, please contact Public Safety Canada's Public Affairs division at:

Telephone: 613-944-4875 or 1-800-830-3118
Fax: 613-998-9589
E-mail: ps.communications-communications.sp@canada.ca

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