[ISN] Sex Sites Sick of Getting Screwed

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Sep 15 2003 - 00:35:59 PDT

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    By Noah Shachtman 
    Sept. 13, 2003
    Internet porn purveyors can pant a little easier now. The hacker who
    allegedly tried to extort money from triple-X webmasters has been
    arrested in Israel.
    Earlier this summer, a hacker with the alias Deepsy demanded $1,500
    each from at least three online smut-selling firms. If the companies
    refused to pay, he warned, he'd crash their Internet operations with
    distributed denial-of-service attacks. One site took as many as 745
    million hits per day during what was believed to be a
    Deepsy-coordinated assault.
    But all that may be coming to an end now. Police in the desert city of
    Be'er Sheva took 20-year-old Pavel Vladislav into custody on suspicion
    of blackmail, extortion, theft, interfering with an investigation and
    conspiracy, according to the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot. In a
    posting to gofuckyourself.com (or GFY), the best-known bulletin board
    for porn webmasters, someone using the handle Deepsy1 identified
    himself as "Vladislav Pavlov" from Be'er Sheva.
    "I hope he's gone. He deserves to go to jail for a long time," said
    one webmaster who was supposedly threatened by Deepsy. "He attempted
    to shut down businesses that make tens of thousands a day. Imagine
    walking into your local grocery store and shutting down their cash
    register system for a few days. There would be hell to pay."
    Boaz Guttman, an Israeli attorney and computer-security expert, said
    that a California company, Cyber Trend, contacted him in early July,
    complaining that a hacker had threatened to take down its
    SilverCash.com adult webmaster affiliate service.
    Guttman said he took Cyber Trend's allegations -- and supporting
    evidence, including 47 pages of server log files -- to the Israeli
    police's antifraud unit, headquartered in the town of Bat Yam.
    But the authorities in Bat Yam blew him off, Guttman contends.
    "Something dealing with sex websites, it's not for her (antifraud
    chief Miriam Golan's) tastes," he said. "She only wants me to come
    with (Secretary of Defense) Donald Rumsfeld's laptop."
    Guttman went to the local authorities in Be'er Sheva instead to press
    Cyber Trend's case, and there he found a more receptive audience. The
    alleged hacker was arrested on the evening of Sept. 8, Guttman said.  
    He claims that the FBI and Interpol are also pursuing this case.
    Calls to Israeli authorities and to Cyber Trend executives seeking
    comment for this story were not returned. The FBI declined to comment,
    as well.
    Online porn sellers had viewed Deepsy with a combination of amusement
    and fear, said Tom Hynes, editor at AVNOnline, the adult webmaster
    trade magazine. Deepsy's rants and threats made for good theater on
    message boards like GFY. But the damage he caused was all too real:  
    home pages ruined, sites offline, revenue lost.
    "His tactics weren't terribly sophisticated," Hynes said. "But they
    could still ruin your day.
    "We were down for an hour because of this character. The adult
    Internet is overall better off (now) that this annoyance is gone. And
    to the extent (the arrest) dissuades others, it's a good thing."
    In an interview over instant messenger, Deepsy claimed some of his
    attacks were launched because the webmasters owed him money. He
    threatened to strike others when they called him a "script kiddie," a
    know-nothing hacker. Still others were given no reason at all. They
    were simply told, "You're next."
    According to Israeli press reports (translated into English by Hebrew
    Translator), a magistrate in Be'er Sheva has ordered Vladislav,
    Deepsy's alleged alter ego, to be held in custody until next Tuesday,
    at least.
    To which one GFY member said, "Let him rot."
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