BBC investigates DDoS extortion in the UK gambling industry

The UK's top 20 betting sites have suffered 33 separate outages since March 1, according to an analysis by the BBC which has been investigating Internet based extortion in the gambling industry. Fifteen of the 20 bookies have been offline during that time. Four of the providers - William Hill, Betdaq, Totalbet and UKBetting - have said they were either attacked or received extortion demands by criminals prior to the March 15 start of the Cheltenham Festival, a leading horse racing event is experiencing its second extended outage in less than a week. .

TotalBet is among the betting sites that acknowledge being targeted by distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in recent weeks, and was offline for nearly 36 hours on March 16-17.

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A dynamically updating graph of the top 20 UK betting sites is available here.

Anecdotal reports are that it is imperative for sites not to pay off DDoS blackmail demands, as the capability to perform DDoS attacks is quite widespread and information on soft targets circulates rapidly amongst that community.