A man has been jailed for attempting to extort sizeable amounts of money from online gambling sites during last summer’s World Cup. Online security site Sophos reports that the court in Dusseldorf, Germany found the man guilty of successfully blackmailing three sites. He also attempted to do so to three others and has been given two years and ten months in jail for his efforts. The man threatened the sites with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) that would have taken their sites off the Internet almost immediately.
In order to carry out the attacks, German media reports that he hired a botnet for $65 a day. The blackmailer then informed them their site would be made unavailable during July 2010 if they didn’t pay him €2,500 ($3,700). In addition to the earlier mentioned prison term, authorities have ordered the man to pay €350,000 in damages and it’s unlikely he’ll be trying it again anytime soon. None of the sites involved have so far been named and Sophos added, “It’s sadly no surprise, therefore, that some cybercriminals see it as a way to make money.”
Extortion is an all too common occurrence in the gambling industry as a whole. You only have to point to the relatively large amount of patent trolls that continue to fester underneath bridges and in hovels waiting for a chance to pounce. If they’re willing to take on Facebook and large corporations, it’s no surprise that those in the iGaming industry are also targeted. It’s good to see that it’s rare for any of them to get away with it.