​Encrypted email firm ProtonMail stiffed after paying DDoS ransom


Switzerland-based encrypted email provider ProtonMail provider says a payment to stop attackers overloading its network didn’t work. Now it’s appealing to the public to fund its “top-of-line” DDoS protection provider.

The privacy-focussed email provider, which crowd-funded its 2014 launch in the wake of Edward Snowden’s disclosures, was knocked offline on Tuesday by what it said was an “extremely powerful” distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

The company today detailed its two day ordeal with the attack, explaining to users that it began with an extortion email from a group that’s been targeted Swiss firms over the past month.

ProtonMail pointed to a warning in September from Switzerland’s GovCERT that a group known as “Armada Collective” had targeted Swiss hosting providers in recent weeks with demands of 10 Bitcoin, equivalent at the time to US $2500 with the currency’s recent rise in value is today worth over $4,000.

Swiss CERT recommended victims not pay the group and instead talk to their ISP about mitigation plans.

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