back to article FastMail falls over as web service extortionists widen attacks and up their prices

FastMail has become the latest web services company to get taken down by distributed denial of service (DDoS) raiders who are trying to extort Bitcoins in exchange for internet access. The company reports that its servers were down briefly on DDoS attack Sunday 8 November, after the people responsible contacted the company …

  1. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Armada Collective? Spanish. Did they just loose a game of bowls or something and are annoyed with everyone?

    1. Soruk
      Joke

      No, they just loosened their bowels on some unfortunate hosting provider's servers.

    2. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Skillz

      The English Armada was more pathetic than the Spanish Armada, yet the Swiss Armada are probably cowering under their mothers duvets tonight. Is this the start of the cyber-war because I'm getting pissed off. I'm about to go in prison and I've friends there, but I will fight back even inside.

      "I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my email provider go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Skillz

        If it were only that easy.

  2. John Geek

    I really do think that putting out a bounty on these DDOS fools necks would be a good thing. a few heads on pikes around the gates, and the next script kiddie would think twice before pulling the trigger.

    1. Hawkeye Pierce

      Or alternatively...

      ... rather than pay them the ransom fee to make them go away, pay them to attack one of the other DDoS groups. Then they can merrily wage war amongst themselves whilst the rest of us get on with our lives.

  3. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Satisfied Customer

    I'm a FastMail customer and didn't notice any downtime.

    1. Piro

      Please

      I use another provider that was attacked: Runbox, and similarly had no issues. Chuffed.

  4. Cincinnataroo

    Do we need a return of the death penalty, for crimes like this?

    Maybe send in special forces for a bit of live fire training.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do we need a return of the death penalty, for crimes like this?

      I think they should be hung by the neck until they cheer up!

  5. Brian in Seattle

    Happy FastMail User

    Yep, this is why I love FastMail:

    1) Blog post and a heads-up email to all users notifying us of exactly what happened, what was threatened, and how there was a chance, though a small one, that it could affect service in the short run.

    2) Immediate action to beef up defenses. These guys have the skills and means to do it, and I trust that they shored up defenses to be able to avoid downtime (or any serious downtime) if they get hit.

    3) Resolve: A nice little fark-u to the dweezels who are demanding the princely sum that they are.

    Seriously, FM is a wonderful little (or not) outfit. I've had my email with them and a personal domain hosted with them for over 10 years. I've had a gmail account, a hotmail account for the same time, and I've had various iterations of exchange-based email at work over the same time period. I've had less overall downtime with FM over that period than anything else. Easiest $40 a year I spend.

  6. Brian in Seattle

    Oh, and I fixed your headline

    FastMail Falls Over. . .

    becomes

    FastMail Skillfully Turns Away DDOS Attack, Thumbs Nose at Perps.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    ProtonMail paid and the attacks kept coming

    Thank you for confirming that blackmail should never, ever be rewarded.

    DDOS attacks are possible because there is still an impressive amount of computers on line that are not adequately protected and have been owned by this scum. Secure the computers and this attack vector will disappear entirely.

    Of course, that means that millions of people who haven't got a clue will need to go and check their computers. Not much of a chance for that to happen any time soon.

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: ProtonMail paid and the attacks kept coming

      I suppose one way to cull the number of botnet computers would be for us to pwn them ourselves, update their security for them, and leave them a polite note how to do it for themselves in future.

      A BBC TV programme, Click, did something similar that a few years ago, not patching just leaving a note to the zombies. BBC botnet "broke the law".

      I am 95% certain the secondary ProtonMail attack was GCHQ so attacking them doesn't help, they will kill me or worse, so curing their zombie army is a good idea.

      As for script-kiddies, I've been pwned before, and my first thought was this person must know more than me because they beat my defences. That was a false assumption, I'd just let down my defences through complacency I was twice able to scare them into backing off through in/credible threats. Incredibly satisfying.

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: ProtonMail paid and the attacks kept coming

        Can I ask whoever gave this post a thumbs down why? I'm genuinely interested in your reason so I can improve my posts in future, and you can respond anonymously so you've nothing to lose by improving me. I'll give you a tick-list to make it simple:

        Did you take a dislike to me IDing GCHQ without actual proof?

        Did you take a dislike to my faux 'Internet Tough Guy' first post here?

        Do you disagree with the information in my post?

        Was it you who I told that I'd encrypted your Index.dat file?

        Do you know I shagged your daughter once? Or thrice.

        Your feedback would be appreciated to help me help improve your online experience.

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