A bitcoin hacking group calling itself “DD4BC” which stands for “distributed denial of service for bitcoin” is allegedly targeting Australian banks like Macquarie and Westpac. These reported extortion campaigns have reportedly been running since May this year, prompting authorities to initiate a new cybersecurity outfit called the Australian Cybersecurity Center (ACSC).
This follows news that Australian banks have discontinued transactions to several bitcoin companies by terminating their bank accounts, spurring speculations that the announcements may have something to do with the bitcoin hacking attacks.
Bitcoin Hacking in Australia
As it turns out DD4BC demands bitcoins from brokers in the country, threatening with a DDOS attack on the company server. For online stock broker Rick Klink interviewed by the Australian Financial Review, the bitcoin hacking group demanded 25 bitcoins otherwise the ransom would rise. He refused to respond to the criminals and decided to contact authorities instead, including the Australian Federal Police, cloud provider Amazon, and ACSC.
According to ACSC, the DD4BC group has launched roughly 150 attacks on businesses in Australia, the US, and the UK. Cloud security provider Akamai reported that more than 50% of these attacks are focused on the financial sector.
With major Australian banks unwilling to be associated with business accounts that could be processing transactions for these bitcoin hacking perpetrators, it’s not surprising that most of these institutions have declined services to bitcoin companies in the country. Westpac and Macquarie haven’t divulged any details on whether or not they’ve also been targeted by these bitcoin hacking attacks, although Westpac was one of the banks that sent account termination letters to bitcoin companies this month.
“Australia is experiencing increasingly sophisticated attacks on networks and systems in the public and private sectors, including the finance sector,” ACSC coordinator Clive Lines said. “If you are connected to the internet, you are vulnerable – financial markets and stock exchanges are not immune from this threat.”