“Nice website you’ve got there. It would be a shame if anything was to happen to it.” That, in essence, is the core threat of DDoS extortion — and, for many, it may be enough of a threat to get them to pay up to avoid their business falling prey to a potentially devastating cyberattack.
For those unfamiliar with it, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks refer to a brand of cyberattack in which the target or victim is overwhelmed with massive quantities of fraudulent traffic.
A subclass of regular denial of service (DoS) cyberattacks, DDoS attacks harness a botnet, a collection of (usually malware-infected) remote control internet-connected devices, in order to direct traffic toward a website or service with the express goal of knocking it offline. In other cases, it might simply render it so slow and ineffective that the results are, essentially, the same: Stopping it from being available to legitimate users.
DDoS attacks can continue for long periods of time, and result in massive losses for businesses through both unrequested downtime and dented user loyalty.