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Help From Above
This article is part of the January 2006 issue of Information Security magazine
Security managers are looking to the keepers of the Internet cloud for relief. Antigua--home of sunsets, sand and online point spreads--has become ground zero for Internet gambling. These offshore gambling sites are also prime extortion targets for organized criminals who threaten distributed denial-of-service attacks if monthly "protection money" isn't paid up. It's a scene right out of gangster movies with a high-tech twist. "We've been hosting some of these gaming sites, and they are literally being threatened by the mob," says Dr. Bill Hancock, former chief security officer at Savvis Communications, a Texas-based carrier and maintainer of an Internet backbone. "I've seen the e-mail messages. The gambling sites start off demanding $3,000 a month, then $30,000 a month. They may pay them off at first, but when it gets this expensive, there's no ROI. They turn to us asking, 'What can you do?'" Security managers for these gambling sites aren't the only ones asking that question. Others are also looking for a little help from ...