|The first blow has been struck in the battle against cyber-crime this week, as police from specialist crime units in Britain, Russia and six other countries arrested three Russian men, believed to be the ringleaders behind the recent spate of DOS attacks on online bookmakers.|
The multi-national task force seized the men, aged between 21 and 24, on Wednesday morning following raids in St Petersburg and the Saratov and Stavropol regions over 1,000 km to the south. Sources say further arrests are expected soon.
A source at the British Embassy in Moscow told Reuters: 'These were the main people behind the organisation. They were coordinating it and laundering the money.'
The gang are accused of holding online bookmakers to ransom by launching DOS (Denial of Service) attacks, which paralyse their servers, and then demanding sums of up to £20,000 to stop. Companies known to have been targeted include William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral and betting exchanges such as Betfair and BetDaq. The criminals would often time the onslaughts to coincide with major sporting events, knowing that they would be costing the bookmakers thousands of pounds in revenue.