A hacking group based in Turkey has started up its own loyalty rewards programme to encourage the perpetrators of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to take down its chosen targets.
According to the BBC, the hacking gang scores attacks on particular systems and then gives attackers access to other hacking tools accordingly - points win prizes style.
Security firm Forcepoint probably provides the best source on this (PDF). It says that the service is offered via Tor and uses something called Sledgehammer to lay a smackdown on pages. Other security firms have been quick to follow what Forcepoint has found and point fingers, commenting accordingly.
"Since Sledgehammer is a tool created by a group of Turkish descent, so it's expected that the targets of their wares are would be those they oppose," said Travis Smith, senior security research engineer at Tripwire.
He continues: "Even though the 'gamification' of the DDoS tool allows individuals from around the world to participate in the attack, the targets are controlled by a centralised command and control server."
Others are less impressed, but still interested. "This is not a game changer, but a natural evolution of hackers learning and improving on how to monetize their assets and use them for ad hoc purposes, in this case DDoSing a select group of targets," said Marc Gaffan, general manager for the Incapsula service at Imperva.
He continued: "The novel part of this is that the platform that has been developed to solicit and monitor those that participate in the DDoS activities to ensure they are doing what the masterminds want them to do and in the way they want them to execute the attacks (down to the precise technology they want them to use).
"The platform itself, if redistributed, could become the new standard for crowdsourcing DDoS attackers."
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