UK site offers bounty for DDoS attackers

Overclockers.co.uk has offered a £10k reward for assistance in convicting those responsible for a sustained distributed-denial-of-service attack on the site

A UK-based online computer reseller has offered a £10,000 reward for assistance in convicting those responsible for a sustained distributed-denial-of-service attack on the site.

Overclockers.co.uk (OcUK), which doubles as a technology-enthusiast site and as a reseller of computer goods, said the attack has disrupted its retail and forums servers for more than 10 days.

In a forum post on Wednesday, the company said it would pay the reward for information that could be used by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) to bring a conviction.

"Instigating these kind of attacks is a serious criminal offence and, whilst we have strong suspicions who is behind them, we need more evidence," the company stated.

OcUK said the attacks had disrupted server uptime but had not compromised site security.

DDoS attacks are generally carried out using large networks of compromised computers known as botnets, according to security experts. In a recent interview with ZDNet UK, Verisign said DDoS attacks on sensitive servers such as domain-name servers tended to increase in volume by 150 times every 14 months.

In March last year, the UK gambling company Gala Coral revealed that its e-commerce sites were taken down about twice per year by DDoS attacks that were often preceded by demands for more than $100,000 (£72,000). The company said it had recently been hit by a new type of attack, apparently prepared months in advance, that was virtually unstoppable and undetectable.

Last month, police said they were in talks with businesses about using online investigators at banks and retailers to help spot the origins of attacks such as DDoS attacks, then passing the details on to the Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) for investigation.

The PCeU intends to co-ordinate law-enforcement action against all online offences and lead national investigations into the most serious e-crime from this spring.

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