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Global Crackdown Against DDoS Services Shuts Down Most Popular Platforms

As part of this action, seven administrators have been arrested so far in the United States and the United Kingdom, with further actions planned against the users of these illegal services. 

Some fifty of the world’s biggest booter services, designed to enable users to launch crippling distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) against critical online infrastructure, have been taken down as part of an international crackdown against DDoS service providers.

Known as Operation Power Off, this operation saw law enforcement in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland and Germany take action against these types of attacks which can paralyze the internet.  

The services seized were by far the most popular DDoS booter services on the market, receiving top billing on search engines. One such service taken down had been used to carry out over 30 million attacks. 

As part of this action, seven administrators have been arrested so far in the United States and the United Kingdom, with further actions planned against the users of these illegal services. 

International police cooperation was central to the success of this operation as the administrators, users, critical infrastructure and victims were scattered across the world. Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre coordinated the activities in Europe through its Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT).

This international sweep follows previous editions of Operation Power Off which targeted the administrators and users of the DDoS marketplace webstresser.org. 

Global Crackdown Against DDoS Services Shuts Down Most Popular Platforms Homeland Security Today
Screenshot of a seized website Europol

Participating authorities:

  • United States: U.S. Department of Justice (US DOJ), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • United Kingdom: National Crime Agency (NCA)
  • The Netherlands: National High Tech Crime Unit Landelijke Eenheid, Cybercrime team Midden-Nederland, Cybercrime team Noord-Holland and Cybercrime team Den Haag
  • Germany: Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt), Hanover Police Department (Polizeidirektion Hannover), Public Prosecutor’s Office Verden (Staatsanwaltschaft Verden)
  • Poland: National Police Cybercrime Bureau (Biuro do Walki z Cyber-przestępczością)

DDoS booter services have effectively lowered the entry barrier into cybercrime: for a fee as low as EUR 10, any low-skilled individual can launch DDoS attacks with the click of a button, knocking offline whole websites and networks by barraging them with traffic. 

The damage they can do to victims can be considerable, crippling businesses financially and depriving people of essential services offered by banks, government institutions and police forces.

Emboldened by a perceived anonymity, many young IT enthusiasts get involved in this seemingly low-level crime, unaware of the consequences that such online activities can carry.

DDoS-ing is taken seriously by law enforcement. Size does not matter – all levels of users are on the radar of law enforcement, be it a gamer booting out the competition out of a video game, or a high-level hacker carrying out DDoS attacks against commercial targets for financial gain.

The side effects that a criminal investigation could have on the lives of these DDoS users can be serious, going as far as a prison sentence in some countries.

Read more at Europol

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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