|Internet hackers are trying to blackmail online bookmakers in the run up to the UK’s biggest betting day – the Grand National. The hackers are threatening Distributed Denial of service attacks (DDoS), a method of attack that hits servers with an onslaught of requests for information, which ties up the server, making it impossible to place bets.|
Online bookmakers are thought to have received threats via email, believed to be from eastern European gangsters. This year’s Superbowl saw similar attacks on online gambling sites, with warnings followed up by threats of further attacks unless the bookies stumped up amounts ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. None of the bookmakers admitted to paying up, although some are believed to have done so previously.
Paddy Power, the Irish online bookmaker, said its website was down for hours this month after a DDoS attack, which was said to have affected other bookies. Paddy Power said it didn’t pay up, and informed the police. The UK’s National Hi-Tech Crime Unit has been looking into the scam since last autumn, when the first reports came through of attacks on UK and offshore betting sites.
The Grand National is the horse racing world’s biggest ‘over the sticks’ (i.e, over fences) Event.