This case marks the first successful prosecution of cybercriminals in Ukraine, the organization reports.
This marks the first large-scale international case of DDoS extortion in Ukraine that ended with a court sentence, Group-IB reports. The organization worked with law enforcement, cybersecurity firms, and online companies to successfully prosecute the criminals.
The attackers were found as part of an investigation into the September 2015 DDoS attack on international online dating service AnastasiaDate. They demanded $10,000 for stopping the attack, which shut down the site for four to six hours each day of the campaign.
Specialists in Group-IB’s investigation department analyzed the attack, identified the attackers, and discovered other incidents conducted by the same two people: Gayk Grishkyan and Inna Yatsenko, both from Ukraine. The duo later contacted AnastasiaDate in November 2016 to demand ransom and threaten to renew the DDoS attacks on its website.
Both attackers pleaded guilty to the crimes and were each given a five-year conditional sentence. Outside the AnastasiaDate case, Grishkyan and Yatsenko had previously targeted American leasing company Stafford Associated and the PayOnline payment service.