Industry News

DDoS Marketing Stunt Lands Hong Kong IT Businessman in Jail

In an attempt to advertise its anti-DDoS service, web hosting firm Pacswitch Globe Telecom in Hong Kong launched a test distributed denial of service attack against HKEnews, a local stock exchange website.   

HKEnews happens to be the most-used platform for company announcements and as a consequence of the two DDoS attacks, the website had to be temporarily shut down and trading was suspended in seven different companies.

In his defense, the 28 year-old Tse Man-lai argued that the site had been accessed only long enough for him to take screenshots and video of the attack, materials necessary for the promotion of his company’s anti-DDoS service. He was talking about two attacks – one of 390 seconds and another of 70 seconds.

According to the South China Morning Post, Judge Kim Longley catalogued this practice as “highly reckless” behavior and sentenced the young businessman to nine months behind bars, even though a former lawmaker for information technology defended Tse’s work helped the local IT industry.

Hong Kong fights a fierce battle with blackmailers who use DDoS attacks to squeeze money from their victims. Senior Inspector Raymond Cao Wai-ki, of the Commercial Crime Bureau technology crime division, stated that, even though Tse’s deed didn’t have a disastrous impact on the website and his intentions were linked to the promotion of his DDoS mitigation solution, the jail sentence has to be perceived as a “clear message to the public that the internet is not a lawless territory”.

About the author


A blend of teacher and technical journalist with a pinch of e-threat analysis, Loredana Botezatu writes mostly about malware and spam. She believes that most errors happen between the keyboard and the chair. Loredana has been writing about the IT world and e-security for well over five years and has made a personal goal out of educating computer users about the ins and outs of the cybercrime ecosystem.