The international dating agency recognizes its concern at the first trial against Ukrainian web criminals

fight against web criminals

The international dating agency recognizes its concern at the first trial against Ukrainian web criminals which became convicted of DdoS battery and squeezing money from reputed companies worldwide.

At the beginning of this year the Ukrainian dating service worked in bundle with legal authorities, cyber-safe agencies and a large diversity of online companies to carry before justice those web intruders due to their DDoS attacks that led to serious online business violations around the world in 2017.

The Ukrainian Marriage Agency, which provides communication platforms for broad international membership, noted its prominent part in this initiative successful pursuit of cybercriminals in Ukraine in early 2018. The chase broke out just after series of DDoS attacks that harmed online businesses around the world. It occured last year. The fruitful collaboration between the Dating Site experts and its partners in the field of cyber security Group-IB and QratorLabs led to the effective effective inquest of the incident in order to collect a vital evidence for the prosecution of cyber criminals.

An unprecedented trial, new for courts in Ukraine, led to a 5-year suspended sentence for a resident of Cherkassy Inna Yatsenko. Mrs. Yatsenko led a hacking group that blocked hundreds of US servers. The rogues used the notorious DDoS method for their attack. The hundreds of thousands of virtual devices and computers were enabled to hijack target servers at a speed of more than 50 Mb / s. Then, cybercriminals tried to extort money from international web companies, including an international dating site, along with online shops, electronic payment systems and sites-exchangers.

The director of the American branch of the international dating site, also affected by hackers, expressed deep satisfaction with the successful results of the prosecution of Ukrainian cybercriminals. He also stressed the important role of cooperation with such companions in security as Group-IB and expressed all confidence that this will ensure the integrity of their services and help to strengthen the protection of the site for the future. The head of the Dating agency called this situation the most important example of credibility for the partners worldwide, especially when it comes to the safety of members’ profiles. He also expressed confidence in the success of the further fight against fraud and other criminal activities in the network.

The illegal activities covered three teams of disturbers who cracked sites and infected computers for a start, and then found targets for blackmail, prospected the DDoS attacks and addressed threats to the companies. Among others, such companies as Stafford Associates (famous data and hosting service in US) and PayOnline (electronic payment system) suffered from extortionists.
Group-IB, reputed international firm, trading in cyberattack prevention, collaborated with the Ukrainian detectives in forming imposing evidential base to use it in court. Not long ago Group-IB has led an investigation into DDoS activities in order to deduce the identity of the criminals which performed the attacks.

The staff of Group-IB’s department responsible for inquiry analyzed web traces from the attack and discover not only the identity of the rogues, but also linking to other attacks towards online marketplaces, systems of network payment and internet resources for betting, lotteries or other gaming services.

All found digital evidence beared out the participation (during the period 2015-2016) of Ms Yatsenko and Mr Grishkian in web hacking and trimming activities. The team of security experts of Ukrainian Dating Site was also provided with all necessary factage in the case.

The head of Group-IB Ilya Sachkov claimed this to be the first so coarse extortion case with DDoS use in the Ukraine. It was detected due to the support of Group-IB experts and was brought to trial. To his point of view the situation is very exponential, for it shows the coordinated and effective joint actions of the partners from different countries. That has given us the opportunity to reach the common goal and stop the criminal activity. It is irrelevant where the criminals acted – on the street or on the Internet – they will be punished anyway.He underlined, that nobody should pay ransom to blackmailers and sponsor crime in such a way. Only professionals from safeguard services with respective expertise should bargain with cyber-criminals.

Alexander Lyamin (Qrator Labs CEO), the other international partner who took part in stopping the attack and collecting evidence, pointed into the complexity of the DDoS attacks: He said that in autumn 2015 their network searching system found out a DDoS attack on one of International Dating platforms. In the course of ti work Qrator filtered network and blacklisted about 2000 IP-addresses.They noticed the declination in the productivity of web use and growth of responses slowed down even for 1 second, which is a sign of massive service degradation and reflects that big part of the Dating Agency’s resources came under the application layer attack, leading to the stress point within application construction.

Later, in 2016, the Dating Agency started to get e-mails with extortion. Then it lived through a strong hacking strike of DDoS. There were about 20 Gbps mitigated volumetric requests and more than 10 000 IPs blacklisted. The attacks were made by a botnet,with multi-protocol use. The result was a perceptible harm not only to the today functioning of one particular resource, but to the whole business.

The mutual work of all included parties was important, because many cybercrimes left unnoticed due to resources’ shortage, doubts of legal bodies, and fear of victims. In conclusion the court recognized the scale of the offences, a ruling likely to influence on the Ukrainian courts in the long-term.

According to the cybercrime detection specialist of Stafford Associates, Stephen Wang, the Ukrainian law authorities are taking serious measures to remove the weak links in the legislation and bring web criminals to justice. As a result, he claims, even scammers themselves came to understanding that they can be caught and punished.

As a result of the trial there was passed a suspended sentence of 5 years for the gangleader and it also stopped the growth cybercriminals’ number showed a great importance of international cooperation of cyber-security services.

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