One of the most common, and irritating, cyberattacks — the distributed-denial-of-service (or DDoS) — now has the potential to come with a twist of cryptocurrency mining. Security researchers with the internet services company Akamai have noticed something unusual as they’ve responded to a spate of recent DDoS attacks.

Buried beneath the traffic deluge designed to grind a target’s web traffic to a halt are ransom notes. SEE ALSO: Salon’s new business plan is running cryptocurrency-mining malware on your computer “It’s actually like a DDoS attack with a phishing attack with an extortion attack all rolled into one,” said Chad Seaman, a senior engineer with Akamai’s security intelligence response team, in an interview with Fortune.

“When we saw it we were like, huh, clever bastards.” One note shared with Fortune, buried in an otherwise indecipherable string of code, makes a demand for “50 XMR,” or Monero.

As of March 3, 2018, that amount of Monero is worth roughly $18,000. It’s not uncommon for DDoS attacks to come with ransom demands of this sort, though normally such demands are relayed via email or some other means of communication after the attack has been launched.

This is more of a “two birds, one stone” approach, linking the two together. The reasoning is simple. Read more from…

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