News
News
1/18/2006
02:58 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Blackmailers Behind Attack On Million-Dollar Site

The British college student who launched an ad gimmick on the Web that took in $1 million in a few months has received threatening letters from blackmailers apparently behind a massive denial-of-service attack.

The British college student who launched an ad gimmick on the Web that took in $1 million in a few months has received threatening letters from blackmailers apparently behind a massive denial of service attack, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Alex Tew, creator of the Million Dollar Homepage, received a letter threatening to take the site down if Tew didn't pay $50,000, spokeswoman Imal Wagner confirmed.

The London-based Financial Times reported earlier on its Web site that the hacker, believed to be Russian, sent an email that read, "Hello u website is under us atack to stop the DDoS send us 50000$."

The email followed another threat Tew received Jan. 7 from an organization calling itself The Dark Group and demanding $5,000, Wagner confirmed. Tew believed it was a hoax and ignored the threat.

The FBI, which has declined comment, and London authorities have been notified, Wagner said.

Tew drew international attention when his idea to sell a million pixels on his homepage for a $1 each to advertisers took off. Last week, an EBay Inc. auction for the last 1,000 pixels brought in $38,100, which brought the total amount of money raised to $1,037,100. Tew launched the gimmick in September to raise money for college expenses.

The attack began shortly after the EBay auction, escalating over the last several days and causing intermittent outages.

As of Wednesday, the site's server was being bombarded by 400 megabytes of "garbage data" per second, overwhelming the system and causing its performance to plummet, Russell Weiss, vice president of technical services for the hosting company, InfoRelay Online Systems Inc., said.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and trends on InformationWeek.com
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.