NEW DELHI: As part of a worldwide crackdown on DDoS service providers, around fifty of the world’s largest booter services have been shut down by global law enforcement agencies. These services allowed customers to perform debilitating distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against vital internet infrastructure.
The confiscated services were by far the most popular DDoS booter services available on the market, ranking first in search engine results. One such service that was shut down had been utilised in over 30 million attacks.
This operation, known as Operation Power Off, saw law enforcement in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Poland, and Germany take action against internet-paralyzing attacks.
As part of this operation, seven administrators have been arrested so far in the United States and the United Kingdom, and additional actions against the users of these unlawful services are expected.
As the administrators, users, vital infrastructure, and victims were geographically dispersed, international police collaboration was essential to the success of this operation. Through its Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre coordinated efforts in Europe (J-CAT).
This global sweep follows prior iterations of Operation Power Off, which targeted administrators and users of the DDoS marketplace webstresser.org.
DDoS-ing is a crime
DDoS booter services have dramatically decreased the barrier to entry into cybercrime: for as little as EUR 10, even unskilled individuals may conduct DDoS attacks with the press of a button, knocking offline entire websites and networks by flooding them with traffic.
The damage they can inflict on victims can be substantial, devastating businesses financially and depriving individuals of services provided by banks, government agencies, and police departments.
Many young IT enthusiasts, emboldened by a sense of anonymity, engage in this ostensibly low-level crime, oblivious of the potential repercussions of their actions.
DDoS attacks are treated very seriously by law enforcement. All levels of users are on law enforcement’s radar, whether it’s a gamer kicking the competition out of a video game or a high-level hacker conducting DDoS assaults against commercial targets for monetary gain.
In some countries, a criminal probe might have severe repercussions on the lives of these DDoS users, including a prison sentence.
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