3 Tips for Protecting Your Business from Email-Transmitted Extortion Campaigns

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has recently called attention to an increasing number of complaints from businesses reporting extortion campaigns via email. The IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).

In a typical complaint, the victim business receives an email threatening a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack to its Website unless it pays a ransom. Ransoms vary in price and are usually demanded in Bitcoin.

Victory State Bank, Staten Island’s only community-based commercial bank, advises business owners to learn how to defend themselves against such extortion.

Victims who do not pay the ransom receive a subsequent threatening email claiming that the ransom will significantly increase if the victim fails to pay within the time frame given. Some businesses reported implementing DDoS mitigation services as a precaution.

The IC3 offers the following advice for protecting yourself from cyber criminals perpetrating the threat:

1) Do not open email or attachments from unknown individuals.

2) Do not communicate with the subject.

3) If an attack occurs, utilize DDoS mitigation services.

DESCRIPTION OF ATTACKS

Businesses that experienced a DDoS attack reported the attacks consisted primarily of Simple Discovery Protocol (SSDP) and Network Time Protocol (NTP) reflection/amplification attacks, with an occasional SYN-flood and, more recently, Wordpress XML-RPC reflection/amplification attack. The attacks typically lasted one to two hours, with 30 to 35 gigabytes as the physical limit.

Based on information received at the IC3, the FBI suspects multiple individuals are involved in these extortion campaigns. The attacks are likely to expand to online industries and other targeted sectors, especially those susceptible to suffering financial losses if taken offline.

If you believe you have been a victim of this scam, you should reach out to your local FBI field office, and file a complaint with the IC3 at www.IC3.gov. Provide any relevant information in your complaint, including the extortion email with header information.

About Victory State Bank

 

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at www.VictoryStateBank.com.

 

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