Web scam-busting trio thwarted by mystery DDoS rocket

Backhanded compliment for fraud alert sites


Updated A bunch of anti-scam sites was knocked offline last week by fierce and apparently well-organised distributed denial of service attacks.

The sites - 419eater.com, scamwarners.com and aa419.org (Artists Against 419) - were swamped with junk traffic for several days. During the attack the sites' administrators turned to blogs, Facebook and other alternative channels to distribute news of newly detected fake payment sites and other urgent anti-fraud information.

"These websites and their users provide excellent exposure for online fraud activities and have been responsible for allowing thousands of prospective victims to detect a scam in play, and get out before losses are incurred," an anonymous reader who was among those who told us about the attacks explained. "They also work actively to kill fake bank sites, fake freight forwarding sites and other criminal resources."

419eater.com and scamwarners.com were back operating normally by Monday morning while aa419.org remains sluggish the load.

The identities of the perpetrators is unclear. Scammers angry at the activities of the sites in exposing their swindles are the obvious prime suspects behind the DDoS assaults. One reader suggested that recent publicity against a range of fake Amazon sites might have prompted the attacks, but this remains unconfirmed.

We've contacted the sites concerned and will update this story with more information when El Reg hears more.

An automated message received after we contacted the scam-warners confirmed that a DDoS attack had taken place against the site. "Please note that our forum is currently unavailable due to a DDoS attack," the message said. "We hope to resume normal functioning soon. Meanwhile, we are glad to help via email." ®

Bootnote

ScamWarners.com has been in touch to say the attack started against its last Wednesday and went on for several days, adding that a Russian scammer is suspected as the culprit:

The attack was perpetrated by a scammer who became angry at a topic posted on 419Eater, which exposed his scam. 419Eater.com was first attacked and ScamWarners began to publicise it via Twitter and Facebook. The next day [Thursday], ScamWarners was also attacked. The scammer then sent an email to me, threatening both ScamWarners and 419Eater. We were told to cease exposing their information and reporting their Amazon sites or we would both be eradicated from cyberspace.

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Red Hat Kubernetes security report finds people are the problem
    Puny human brains baffled by K8s complexity, leading to blunder fears

    Kubernetes, despite being widely regarded as an important technology by IT leaders, continues to pose problems for those deploying it. And the problem, apparently, is us.

    The open source container orchestration software, being used or evaluated by 96 per cent of organizations surveyed [PDF] last year by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, has a reputation for complexity.

    Witness the sarcasm: "Kubernetes is so easy to use that a company devoted solely to troubleshooting issues with it has raised $67 million," quipped Corey Quinn, chief cloud economist at IT consultancy The Duckbill Group, in a Twitter post on Monday referencing investment in a startup called Komodor. And the consequences of the software's complication can be seen in the difficulties reported by those using it.

    Continue reading
  • Infosys skips government meeting – and collecting government taxes
    Tax portal wobbles, again

    Services giant Infosys has had a difficult week, with one of its flagship projects wobbling and India's government continuing to pressure it over labor practices.

    The wobbly projext is India's portal for filing Goods and Services Tax returns. According to India's Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the IT services giant reported a "technical glitch" that meant auto-populated forms weren't ready for taxpayers. The company was directed to fix it and CBIC was faced with extending due dates for tax payments.

    Continue reading
  • Google keeps legacy G Suite alive and free for personal use
    Phew!

    Google has quietly dropped its demand that users of its free G Suite legacy edition cough up to continue enjoying custom email domains and cloudy productivity tools.

    This story starts in 2006 with the launch of “Google Apps for Your Domain”, a bundle of services that included email, a calendar, Google Talk, and a website building tool. Beta users were offered the service at no cost, complete with the ability to use a custom domain if users let Google handle their MX record.

    The service evolved over the years and added more services, and in 2020 Google rebranded its online productivity offering as “Workspace”. Beta users got most of the updated offerings at no cost.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022