News, Developments, and Insights

high-tech technology background with eyes on computer display


A while back, I wrote about the Million Dollar Homepage, where Alex Tew, a student, created the idea of selling a million pixels on a website to advertisers for $1 each. His plan was successful, and he recently reached his goal of raising a million dollars in just a few months.

But the story attracted some unsavory criminals bent on ruining Tew’s enterprise. From the BBC:

But the publicity brought the unwanted attention of extortionists who knocked the site over with a massive denial-of-service attack.

Following a week of downtime, the website is now back online.

Mr Tew’s encounter with the net criminals began on 7 January when he received an e-mail threatening to bombard the site with data unless he paid a ransom of $5,000 (£2,800).

He did not respond and the 10 January deadline passed without incident. But the following day the site went down, and has only been up intermittently since then.

A series of other e-mails, upping the ransom to $50,000 (£28,000), followed.

Tew ultimately got his website back up with the help of a company,, that combats denial-of-service attacks.


Originally Posted at Concurring Opinions

* * * *

This post was authored by Professor Daniel J. Solove, who through TeachPrivacy develops computer-based privacy training, data security training, HIPAA training, and many other forms of awareness training on privacy and security topics. Professor Solove also posts at his blog at LinkedIn. His blog has more than 1 million followers.

Professor Solove is the organizer, along with Paul Schwartz, of the Privacy + Security Forum and International Privacy + Security Forum, annual events designed for seasoned professionals.

If you are interested in privacy and data security issues, there are many great ways Professor Solove can help you stay informed:
LinkedIn Influencer blog

TeachPrivacy Ad Privacy Training Security Training 01