Hacker rewards: Cybercrime gamified

A Turkish hacking group has turned web attacks into a game by rewarding people who successfully hit designated targets, BBC News report.

The first of it’s kind, the platform gives loyalty points to hackers for every short-lived attack they mount against a small number of websites and logs points on a scoreboard for each attack which can then be cashed in for free access to other hacking tools.

In other words, the chance to ‘level up’.

The current platform targets websites that are run by organisations that oppose Turkey’s government.

Security firm Forcepoint discovered the site called “Surface Defence”, which runs from the Tor dark web network and gives hackers access to a web attack tool called Sledgehammer.

This tool seeks to knock websites offline by bombarding them with more data than they can handle – a type of attack known as Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS.

The rules of the game, laid out by the Turkish site reward one point to hackers for every 10 minutes of an attack directed at one of the targets, some of which include Kurdish campaign groups, media organisations and opposition political parties.

Also on the website hitlist were Germany’s Christian Democratic Union and an Israeli film festival.

A live scoreboard found by Forcepoint security researchers showed that hackers from many different groups in Turkey were taking part in the competition. The hacker at the top of the board had accumulated more than 450 points, in other words over 75 hours of successful DDoS attacks.

Rewards for hackers include more sophisticated DDoS attack tools, click fraud bots and other hacker software.


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