DDoS Attack Service Admin Behind 200,000 Attacks Face 35 Years in Prison

A federal jury in California, at the end of a nine-day trial, found an Illinois man guilty, who have operated several websites with paid DDoS attack services. 

After executing an investigation it was found that 32-year old Matthew Gatrel of St. Charles, Illinois allowed users to launch more than 200,000 DDoS attacks for which he may face 35-years in prison

Matthew Gatrel was found guilty of three crimes and here they are mentioned below:-

  • Conspiracy to commit unauthorized impairment of a guarded computer.
  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
  • For committing unauthorized impairment of a secured computer.

Bulletproof server hosting and DDoS services

Since at least October 2014, Matthew has been operating the DDoS services, and mainly he ran two websites with illegal paid DDoS attack services; here they are mentioned below:-

  • DownThem.[org]
  • AmpNode.[com]

Here via DownThem.[org] website Matthew use to provide DDoS attacks services to users, while through the second website, AmpNode.[com] he use to provide “bulletproof” server hosting to its users.

The most interesting thing about the servers is that it provides two key abilities, and they are:-

  • Spoofing
  • Lists of vulnerable attack amplifiers

In the “DownThem” web portal the security authorities have found more than 2000 registered users, and all these users are the ones who have actually executed more than 200,000 DDoS attacks.

Here’s what the U.S. Department of Justice stated:-

“Often called a “booting” service, DownThem itself relied upon powerful servers associated with Gatrel’s AmpNode bulletproof hosting service. Many AmpNode customers were themselves operating for-profit DDoS services.”


Here’s the list of targets that are attacked in these DDoS attack events:-

  • Homes
  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Municipal
  • Local government websites
  • Financial institutions from all over the world

Moreover, in his web portals, there are several options are provided by him to his customers like multiple services, multiple subscription packages, various attack capabilities like:-

  • Duration of the attacks
  • Strength of the attacks
  • The possibility of concurrent attacks

Apart from this, for Gatrel’s final trial and imprisonment hearing, John A. Kronstadt, the United States District Judge has fixed January 27, 2022, as the final date, and in this time he may face a statutory maximum sentence of 35-years in prison.

In this event, Gatrel is not alone, since with him 28-year old Juan Martinez is also involved, as he helped Gatrel in managing and administering the DownThem website for their illegal activities.

However, Juan Martinez already pleaded guilty unlike Gatrel, and right now he was is awaiting his final hearing which is scheduled for December 2, and in his final trial, he may face a statutory maximum sentence of 10-years in prison.

You can follow us on LinkedinTwitterFacebook for daily Cybersecurity updates

BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here