Arrests after attack on website

Two men have been arrested for launching a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack on a Manchester-based company's website in an attempted blackmail.

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31 year-old Piotr Smirnaw and 35 year-old Patryk Surmacki from Poland were seized at a Heathrow hotel following what the Greater Manchester police are describing as their largest ever cybercrime investigation.

The attack on the large unnamed company lasted for 36 hours and prevented users from accessing one of its websites. The men threatened the firm that it would launch a further attack if it did not meet their demands for money, but instead they reported the matter to the police, who were assisted in their investigation by the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

“This investigation centres on an allegation that the on-line company was blackmailed. As part of this blackmail attempt, one of the company's websites was made temporarily unavailable by the offenders,” noted .

Detective Inspector Chris Mossop of the Greater Manchester Police’s Serious Crime Division said: “Denial of service attacks have become increasingly common offences in recent years and can have a devastating effect on the victim's on-line business or presence. They involve offenders flooding the target website with information, rendering it unable to function as it should do." DI Mossop added: “This particular case has involved a fast-time investigation by a number of agencies across a number of countries, including the UK, the US and Poland.”

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