Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, a form of online systems disruption, are getting extremely powerful. They can now top 17 Gbps (see diagram) in flow from a dedicated botnet (particularly infected computers located in countries with high speed consumer broadband). Additionally, global geographic diversity of these botnets means that the low and slow approach, a method that aims for partial disruption (remember Lawrence's approach) that forces companies to spend more on hardware/bandwith rather than spikes that force total shutdown, can be used to effect. In short, DDoS has become a supurb way to extort money from corporations.However, criminals find it difficult to extract payments directly from corporations due to accounting rules, corporate charters, and legal liability. One good way to get around this impasse is to sell "protection" in the form of a third party DDoS prevention services. Here's a good article on how the Russian Business Network does it. This is very similar to how tribal, gangs, and militias usually get funding from the government to protect critical networks in the real world.
NOTE: Unfortunately, US Internet users are outgunned in the DDoS competition. The US ranks 38th in broadband globally. Our information networks are relatively easier to clog.NOTE 2: Systems disruption has reached Nigeria's capital, Lagos. Two separate attacks (17 and 27 February) on towers that carry a critical 330 kV electricity line, has shut down power in the capital region. Sabotage and not copper "mining" was to blame. Is this connected to the arrest of Henry Okah? If so, it's smart.