ProtonMail names one of the attackers behind a major DDoS this summer

TechCrunch | 7/18/2018 | Staff
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End-to-end encrypted email service ProtonMail has named one of the attackers behind a sustained distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) it suffered earlier this summer. The attack took its email service offline for up to several minute long stretches at a time, even with mitigation measures in place.

It says the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested the teenager, George Duke-Cohan, who was a member of a criminal group called Apophis Squad, late last month.

Week - National - Crime - Agency - Arrest

“Earlier this week, the British National Crime Agency announced the arrest of George Duke-Cohan, also known by his aliases“7R1D3N7,”“DoubleParallax,” and, more recently, “optcz1,” it writes in a blog post published today.

“At ProtonMail, we unfortunately have to face off against cyberattacks on a daily basis. Over the course of this summer, no fewer than five separate groups have been conducting attacks against ProtonMail. Duke-Cohan was a key member of Apophis Squad, a criminal group which was involved in cyberattacks against ProtonMail.”

Week - Bomb - Threats - UK - Schools

Earlier this week the 19-year-old pled guilty to making hoax bomb threats targeting UK schools.

ProtonMail founder Andy Yen tells TechCrunch it’s not clear what Duke-Cohan or Apophis Squad’s beef might have been with the encrypted email service — and according to its blog members of the group had in fact been users of the encrypted email service themselves — adding that “multiple threat actors were involved”.

DDoS - Threat - Actors - Summer - Email

“For DDoS specifically, we identified three separate threat actors this summer,” he tells us via email. “We have names/addresses for two of them now, including obviously George from Apophis.”

“Apophis was the least sophisticated threat actor, and from the attack traffic analysis, not related to any of the past or current threat actors we are contending with,” he continues, adding: “ProtonMail unfortunately is a popular target because we are well known as a highly hardened target, and there is a sizeable amount of “bragging...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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