A hacker who goes by the pseudonym, ‘Mehmet’ has created a competition in which participants are encouraged to launch DDoS attacks against specific websites. According to Forcepoint Security Labs, a security firm that carried out investigations on the competition and published its findings, the hacker has managed to create a sophisticated game for the sole purpose of encouraging and equipping ‘lone wolf’ attackers to bring down websites.
The Forcepoint investigation reveals that contestants are given specific tools to use to attack any website of their choice. The participants are then given specific periods to attempt to bring down the chosen website.
A list of targeted websites is maintained by the designer of the competition. One of the most prominent websites that are on the list includes those of the German Christian Political Party and other political parties that are associated with the Kurds. Competitors are allowed to suggest new websites that should be added to the list.
However, Forcepoint notes that many of the people who are participating in the hacking game are not driven by any ideology. Ideally, the majority of the participants are doing it for the prizes that the creator of the game gives out to participants. The prizes and awards vary according to the effort that individuals put in attempting to bring down websites.
For example, highly successful individuals are promised to be given access to special bots that can help them earn money via fake online clicks. At the basic level, hackers are given more advanced tools to carry out more severe attacks against any of the targeted websites.
The performance of all the participants is posted on a live screen. More so, to complete the perfect gaming analogy, the hacking attempts are governed by very strict rules. For example, hackers get access to the hacking tools and are only allowed to use the tools on one machine at a time. Also, the hacking tools that hackers get have special configurations that can inject Trojan horses in machines. It appears that the developer of this competition uses the Trojan horse to punish participants who flout the rules of the game.
It remains to be seen how effective this competition will be, given that its revelation in the report by Forcepoint is likely to attract public attention to it. Besides, there have been concerted efforts to deal with click fraud. Because this competition uses click fraud in a way, it is highly likely that it will attract the attention of institutions that are developing methods of fighting click fraud.