Cyberextortionist

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A cyberextortionist is an individual or group who uses email as an offensive force. The group or individual usually sends a company a threatening email stating that they have received confidential information about their company and will exploit a security leak or launch an attack that will harm the company's network. The message sent through the email usually demands money in exchange for the prevention of the attack.[1][2]

Cases[edit]

In November 2008, Express Scripts offered a reward of $1 million for information in regards to an anonymous email that had the names, social security numbers, birth dates, and prescription information of 75 members.[3]

In March 2008, Anthony Digati was arrested on federal charges of extortion through interstate communication. Digati put $50,000 into a variable life insurance policy by New York Life Insurance Company and wanted a return of $198, 303.88. When the firm didn't comply, he threatened to send out 6 million spam emails. He registered a domain in February 2008 that contained New York Life's name in the URL to display false public statements about the company and increased his demand to $3 million.[4] According to prosecutors, Digati's intent was not to inform or educate but he wanted to "damage the reputation of New York Life and cost the company millions of dollars in revenue,”.[5] New York Life contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Digati was apprehended.

On February 15, 2011, Spanish police apprehended a man who attempted to blackmail Nintendo over customer information he had stolen. The man stole personal information about 4,000 users and emailed Nintendo Ibérica, Nintendo's Spanish division, and accused the company of data negligence. He threatened the company that he would make the information public and complain to the Spanish Data Agency if his demands were not met. After Nintendo ignored his demands, he published some of the information on an Internet forum. Nintendo notified authorities and the man was arrested in Malaga. No information has been revealed as to what the man demanded from Nintendo.[6]

References[edit]