DDoS-for-hire sting hits 50 domains, seven people arrested • The Register

Police around the world have seized up to 50 internet domains said to have been involved in tens of millions of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks worldwide. Seven people were collared during the dive.

The so-called “booter” websites sold “some of the world’s leading DDoS services for rent,” allowing paying customers to launch these network-sprawling cyberattacks against select victims, according to the US Department of Justice, which announced 48 domain seizures and criminal charges against six people on Wednesday.

Europol put the number of takedowns that were part of Operation Power Off at 50 and said one of the nefarious sites had been used in more than 30 million attacks. In addition to a total of seven suspected booter site administrators who have been arrested so far, “further measures [are] planned against the users of these illegal services,” said the European police officers.

While some of the sites claimed to offer “stresser” services, ostensibly to help organizations test whether their networks can withstand a DDoS flood, after reviewing “thousands of communications between booter site administrators and their customers, These communications make it clear that both parties are aware that the customer is not attempting to attack their own computers,” the FBI affidavit said [PDF] filed in support of court-approved orders to seize the sites.

These DDoS-for-hire services have been used against a wide range of victims around the world, including educational institutions, government agencies, gaming platforms, and millions of individuals, and the timing of the shutdown is no coincidence, we’re told. The Christmas holiday season usually brings a spate of DDoS attacks on websites to disrupt sales and as IT admins often have paid time off.

Also in connection with the website seizures, the FBI, the UK’s National Crime Agency and the Dutch police have launched a search engine advertising campaign, in which the ads are triggered by keywords related to DDoS activities. The ads aim to deter potential cyber criminals looking for DDoS services and to educate the public.

In addition to the DDoS domain takedowns, authorities in the US have filed indictments against six defendants who allegedly each operated at least one booter website. For each, the FBI posed as a customer and ran test attacks to confirm that the DDoS-for-Hire site was working as advertised.

The alleged perpetrators are:

Jeremiah Sam Evans Miller, aka “John The Dev”, 23, from San Antonio, Texas. He is charged with conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in connection with the alleged operation of a booter service called RoyalStresser.com, formerly known as Supremesecurityteam.com.

Angel Manuel Colon Jr., aka “Anonghost720” and “Anonghost1337”, 37, of Belleview, Fla., who is charged with conspiracy to violate the computer fraud and abuse statute in connection with the alleged operation of a service called SecurityTeam.io.

Shamar Shattock, 19, of Margate, Fla., who is charged with conspiracy to allegedly run a booter service called Astrostress.com.

Cory Anthony Palmer, 22, of Lauderhill, Fla., who is charged with conspiracy to allegedly operate a service called Booter.sx.

John M. Dobbs, 32, of Honolulu, Hawaii, who is accused of aiding and abetting violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act between 2009 and November 2022 in connection with the alleged operation of a booter service called Ipstressor.com, also known as IPS, to have done.

Joshua Laing, 32, of Liverpool, New York, who is accused of abetting computer fraud and abuse law violations between 2014 and November 2022 in connection with the alleged operation of a booter service called TrueSecurityServices.io.

The National Crime Agency did not name the alleged administrator of the UK website who was arrested in connection with the DDoS operation. ®

https://www.theregister.com/2022/12/15/ddos_sites_takedown_fbi_europol/ DDoS-for-hire sting hits 50 domains, seven people arrested • The Register

Rick Schindler

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