Did you just get an email that looks like this?
If so, don’t panic.
Many thousands of companies around the world are believed to have received emails in the last few days to a week, claiming to come from “Phantom Squad” with the subject line “DDoS Warning”.
The email reads:
FORWARD THIS MAIL TO WHOEVER IS IMPORTANT IN YOUR COMPANY AND CAN MAKE DECISION!
We are Phantom Squad
Your network will be DDoS-ed starting Sept 30st 2017 if you don’t pay protection fee – 0.2 Bitcoin @ [removed].
If you don’t pay by Sept 30st 2017, attack will start, yours service going down permanently price to stop will increase to 20 BTC and will go up 10 BTC for every day of attack.
This is not a joke.
While the name ‘Phantom Squad’ is one which has been known to commit Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) attacks, there is no solid evidence that this email comes from them.
It does appear that some scammer has simply trawled public information on domains, and sent out many, many thousands of emails, in the hope that some will pay.
To some, the 0.2 Bitcoin, or approximately $720 dollars would be trivial, and to other small companies it might be a lot of money, our recommendation is the same – do NOT pay it. There is no evidence that this spam-scam is able to make good on their threat, and our inclination is that they are NOT able to DDoS your website.
Instead of paying, we recommend that you REPORT THE EXTORTION to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
To file a complaint, you will need the email text, and the headers from the email – if you’re using Outlook, here is how to get that information:
Click in the headers box, and copy them: