We might have just come across a bunch of hackers with conscience. The hacking group that was responsible for launching a massive scale DDoS attacks of multiple private email service providers including ProtonMail, demanding ransom has paid back a portion of the original ransom amount.
The hacking group called Armada Collective is said to be responsible for attacking ProtonMail, HushMail, Zoho and others. Armada Collective was successful in receiving a ransom of 15 bitcoins from ProtonMail after they launched a DDoS attack on their infrastructure earlier this month. But the attack on ProtonMail continued after they paid the ransom and the company was not really happy about it. Armada Collective, who were allegedly behind the initial attack and received the ransom was apparently not behind the continued attacks on ProtonMail after receiving the payment.
The hacker group is now trying to make things right by them by paying back a portion of ransom they received from ProtonMail along with a message saying they are not responsible for continued attacks on their infrastructure. They go further to justify it by saying that there is no point for them to continue with their attacks as they already got what they wanted. Armada Collective is said to have sent a note which read – “Somebody with great power, who wants ProtonMail dead, jumped in after our initial attack!” and that they do not have the power to crash ProtonMail’s data center.
Armada Collective’s claims about inadequate power to launch an attack of such a large scale is seconded by Akamai Technologies, a security and networking firm. According to Akamai, even though Armada Collective has claimed many times that they are capable of launching DDoS attacks of the scale 1 Tbps, there are no evidence of them crossing 772 Mbps.
If it is not Armada Collective who are continuing the attacks, then who is it? We will have to wait for someone to claim responsibility.