Two Polish blackmailers have been sentenced to five years and four months each for failed attempts to intimidate two online gambling sites with threats of distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks.
According to Sky News, Piotr Smirnow (31) and Patryk Surmacki (35) pled guilty in Manchester Crown Court to two counts each of blackmail and conspiracy to access, use and impair computers without authorization on Wednesday.
The Court heard that the two accused approached the owners of two large two large online casino businesses and set up a meeting. On July 23, 2013, Smirnow contacted one of the victims who ran a Manchester-based online gaming site worth an estimated £30m and asked to meet him as he said he had a business proposition. However, the so-called proposition was in fact a threat: the Poles demanded that the site owners hand over 50% of their businesses or have American hacker named ‘Wapo’ launch a DDOS attack on their sites and shut down their businesses. However, the business owners displayed startling bravado and resisted, causing the Poles to carry out their threat.
One of the victims then contacted the Manchester police, who set up a sting to spy on the Poles out of a hotel room on August 7th. The site owner again declined to pay, and the Poles announced that they were now “going to war.” Unfortunately, their threat was in vain as the police arrested them when they left their hotel room.