Tracy Kitten’s recent article on DDoS for Bitcoins (DD4BC) shows the evolution of DDoS attacks into a form of criminal extortion. The advice of law enforcement agencies is: “Don’t pay. File a complaint. Contact your ISP.” This is the online version of the classic protection racket, except that instead of Lewie the Leg Breaker visiting your store, you get some weird email instead. And instead of the glass getting smashed out of your front window when you fail to pay, your site goes off the air. But you generally don’t have insurance for this latter event, even though some estimates of loss and damage due to DDoS are as much as $2.4M/day for major banking institutions. Bitcoin is viewed as an anonymous cryptocurrency by the extortionists, but that’s not really true. Bitcoins keep an internal (and distributed) ledger of all transactions in the history of the coin (you can view bitcoin transactions in real time at Block Chain Info).