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Online extortion demands

Special Alert – Online Extortion Demands

We have been advised by the Specialist Crime unit at Gloucestershire Constabulary that, within the past 24 hours, a number of businesses throughout the UK have received online extortion demands from a group calling themselves ‘RepKiller Team’.

Method of attack

The group have sent emails demanding payment of between £300 – £500 in Bitcoins by a certain date and time. If their demand is not met, they have threatened to launch a cyber attack against the business and its reputation by automating hundreds of negative reviews online. The demand states that once their actions have started, they cannot be undone.

What should I do?

If you have received such a demand, or if you receive one in the future, you are advised to:

Make a report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via the online reporting tool on www.actionfraud.police.uk

Do not pay the demand

Retain the original emails (with headers)

Maintain a timeline of the attack, recording all times, type and content of the contact

All affected businesses, whether the attack is attempted or successful, should report in the first instance to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via www.actionfraud.police.uk

This latest round of threats in cyber space highlights a few key areas that all organisations need to be conscious of and address accordingly. The threat of negative online reviews will be a key issue for many B2C businesses as the modern consumer will look for assurance that the products and services offered meet our already high expectations. We also expect all of our ‘secure’ websites to be impervious to any form of tampering as well. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case either, as this news article from the BBC serves to highlight https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-35706730

One thing is certain, the range and scope of threats that organisations face is evolving. If you are concerned about your current cyber security standing, please get in touch…

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