Posted on July 6, 2021 at 4:20 PM
Bitcoin.org has been facing series of challenges lately. The website recently lost a case to host the Bitcoin white paper. Now, it has suffered what it’s Cobra, its pseudonymous owner calls a “massive DDoS attack.”
The hackers, according to the report, are demanding a ransom of $17,000 to stop the attack.
Although the ransom amount may not be much when compared to other ransomware demands from other DDoS attacks, it’s still high for an educational website.
More woes for Bitcoin.org
Bitcoin.org was created to talk about everything about Bitcoin and is particularly beneficial for a newbie who is entering the industry.
Craig White, who claimed to have created Bitcoin, has been in a legal tussle with the website. Last week, a U.K ruled in his favor and claimed copyright violations against Bitcoin.org for the website’s hosting of the white paper.
Cobra didn’t mount any defense against the lawsuit. But after the court ruling, the platform denied access to download the Bitcoin Core software. The access was blocked for users who are accessing the platform from the U.K.
The havoc caused by DDoS attacks
DDoS attacks cannot be equated with ransomware attacks when it comes to the loss to the organization. But it is equally damaging. Apart from costing time, an attack can cause users of the platform to lose trust. When a website or platform is attacked, activities will be suspended because it will not be able to accept new requests from genuine users.
Since the server is down, it won’t be able to receive new orders. As a result, it means a considerable loss of business for the short time the attack is in progress. Moreover, a DDoS attack damages the reputation of the platform affected.
Threat actors specializing in DDoS attacks are constantly evolving their tactics and attacking mechanisms. Also, the sizes of attacks are increasing as well, going from a few hundred per second a few years ago to terabytes this year.
This has required the need for organizations to devise a more potent security system that can detect any imminent attack and protect the network.
Last year, Bitfinex and OKEx were the worst affected victims among crypto exchanges. Although the attack didn’t cause much havoc to their systems, it was able to stall them for some time. The threat actors took advantage of the in-built features of the exchanges to overrun the servers.
At the time, OKEx stated that the threat actors used about 400 GB of data to execute their attack.
Also, Binance suffered a DDoS attack last year, but the exchange’s chief executive officer Changpeng Zhao stated that the attack was by its competitors. According to CZ, the attack was carried out not to steal funds but to harm its reputation.
Ransom demanded in Bitcoin
Cobra announced on Twitter that the Bitcoin educational website was hit and a ransom demand with an undisclosed amount of Bitcoin was demanded. He clearly showed his frustration with the incident through his tweets.
“Back in the day, you could put up a reasonable fight against most DDoS attacks,” Cobra stated.
He added that now, the attackers make sure the website has no other solution than to pay the ransom demand and get back on track as soon as possible. With a DDoS attack, time is the major factor, and the more the system stays down, the more the platform is being affected.
The DDoS attack is not new on crypto exchanges, but it’s the first time an attack has been launched on an organization like Bitcoin.org.
Most of the attacks target companies and organizations that won’t blink an eyelid to pay a ransom due to the damaging impact of the attack. So, it’s somehow surprising to observers that threat actors have decided to launch a DDoS attack on Bitcoin.org.
The organization only deals with open-source information and does not hold information about users or funds. In December, the website faced a similar attack as users were not able to access the Bitcoin.org software for some hours.