Polish Cyber-extortionists Jailed After Online Casino AssaultDecember 23, 2013 11:23 am
Two Polish computer programmers have just been sentenced to five years and four months behind bars after blackmailing then launching a
denial of service attack on an online casino business. As well as attacking the Manchester-based online casino, the pair also attempted to blackmail an unnamed online casino based in the USA.
Piotr Smirnow, 31, and Patryk Surmacki, 35, both of whom worked in the online gaming business, were apprehended as part of a police sting operation and subsequently pleaded guilty to the charges at the Manchester Crown Court.
Apparently, the two Polish men had tried to bribe a Manchester-based Internet casino owner into handing over a 50% stake in his £30 million company, in exchange for not launching a “distributed denial of service” (DDoS) and taking down the online casino’s servers. When their victim refused, the men then paid an American hacker £12,000 ($19,700) to carry out their threat, resulting in the Manchester-based site going down for five hours, at a cost of $15,000.
However, the casino owner had already alerted police as to the cybercrooks’ threat and after meeting with the duo for a second time, this time in a police bugged hotel room, the owner of the business told the men he would not cooperate resulting in them threatening then being arrested by nearby police officers. Commenting on the sting operation, a police statement, read:
“The pair claimed they’d shown their power and it wouldn’t stop until the internet source codes for his business were handed over. The CEO refused to provide them so they both became annoyed and said they were now ‘going to war’.”
Detective Inspector Chris Mossop, of the Serious Crime Division, also praised the victims’ “bravery in the face of extreme intimidation” whilst highlighting the emerging global threat of cyber-attacks and the devastating effects they can have on on-line business.