In an attempt to reduce the entry barrier for malicious activity, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on Wednesday announced the seizure of 48 domains that provided services to carry out distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) assaults on behalf of other threat actors.
In addition to criminal accusations against six individuals who allegedly oversaw computer attack platforms known as “booter” services.
Numerous victims, including educational institutions, government organizations, gaming platforms, and millions of people, were allegedly attacked by booter services like those identified in the United States and abroad.
These assaults can severely reduce internet services and completely disrupt internet connections in addition to having an impact on the targeted victims.
The websites “allowed paying users to launch powerful distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks that flood targeted computers with information and prevent them from being able to access the internet,” the DoJ said in a press statement.
The domains will display a seizure message alerting users that these services are prohibited once they have been formally taken over and transferred to the law enforcement DNS.
Defendants Have Been Charged
According to the DOJ, six suspects were also charged – Jeremiah Sam Evans Miller (23), Angel Manuel Colon Jr. (37), Shamar Shattock (19), Cory Anthony Palmer (22), John M. Dobbs (32), and Joshua Laing (32) – for their alleged ownership in the operation.
IPStresser[.]com, RoyalStresser[.]com, SecurityTeam[.]io, Astrostress[.]com, Booter[.]sx, and TrueSecurityServices[.]io are among the booter (or stresser) services that the six defendants are accused of operating. Additionally, they are accused of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
The same DDoS features are offered by stressers, which state that they are offered for legitimate testing of the reliability of web services and the servers that power them.
“Some sites use the term “stresser” in an effort to suggest that the service could be used to test the resilience of one’s own infrastructure; however, as described below, I believe this is a façade and that these services exist to conduct DDoS attacks on victim computers not controlled by the attacker, and without the authorization of the victim,” reads an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Elliott Peterson out of the Alaska field office
In this case, threat actors must first create an account and deposit cryptocurrency before they may use these services.
A lot of these services are advertised on hacker forums and the black market, despite the fact that practically all booter/stresser sites demand that a subscriber promise not to use the services to execute attacks.
The owners of the platforms themselves or affiliates who receive commissions for marketing the service advertise deals and coupons on websites that engage in cybercrime.
Although the platforms are no longer operational, the FBI is presently collaborating with domain authorities to execute the seizure messages.
Additionally, the FBI collaborates with the Netherlands Police, the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom, to display ads in search engines when people search for booter services.
Below is a list of all the domains the FBI has confiscated:
- truesecurityservices[.]io United States France Namecheap 1
DOJ pointed out that these law enforcement operations were conducted in conjunction with Operation PowerOFF, an ongoing, coordinated effort among international law enforcement agencies aimed at dismantling criminal DDoS-for-hire platforms.
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