Hackers threaten Greek banks with DDoS

Bitcoin sitting on edge on a table with several other coins in the background

Three Greek banks are being subject to extortion by cyber criminals who are threatening to disrupt online trading if a bitcoin ransom isn't paid today.

According to Greek news site Ekathimerini, the three unnamed banks were first contacted by the extortionists, calling themselves Armada Collective, on Thursday of last week. They demanded a ransom in Bitcoins from each of the banks, stating that if they were not paid by Monday 30 November a serious DDoS attack would begin.

The group or individual apparently proved they were capable and serious in their threat by briefly taking all three banks online services offline at the same time as issuing the threat.

Ekathimerini also reported (in Greek) that, while online banking may be disrupted, the banks' financial transaction systems are unaffected by the threat.

The publication added that a number of service providers are also increasing capacity for the banks to handle traffic in an attempt to thwart the attackers and a special taskforce made up of the Greek National Intelligence Service, Financial Crimes Squad and Bank of Greece has been put together to deal with the crisis. Financial journalist Yannis Koutsomitis has also claimed the FBI is involved, citing an anonymous source.

It has also been suggested Armada Collective tried to extort money from banks in Switzerland and Thailand over the past few weeks. However, neither these banks nor those in Greece have been named, allegedly to avoid panic.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information comes in.

Jane McCallion
Managing Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.