First closing in on operators, now on users, as the hunt continues and law enforcement in many countries is about to swoop on people who bought DDoS attacks on WebStresser
Remember last year’s takedown of the then biggest marketplace for hiring distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks? The global law enforcement operation, called Power OFF, that shut down webstresser.org also resulted in the arrests of the site’s six suspected admins in four countries, as well as in efforts to bring the service’s major users to justice.
Fast forward nine months and Europol, which is the European Union’s law enforcement agency, and the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) have announced that, they’re beginning to deliver on that goal. The concerted effort also involves law enforcement from around 20 countries on four continents.
With “a trove of information” about WebStresser’s user base in their hands, authorities are now conducting actions to track them down, said Europol.
Meanwhile, the NCA said that it has already executed eight warrants against former WebStresser customers and seized more than 60 personal computers, tablets and mobile phones. “A further 400 users of the service are now being targeted by the NCA and partners,” said the NCA.
“Our message is clear. This activity should serve as a warning to those considering launching DDoS attacks. The NCA and our law enforcement partners will identify you, find you and hold you liable for the damage you cause,” Jim Stokley, Deputy Director of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, was quoted as saying.
Europol also sent a warning to the effect that law enforcement may go knock (or perhaps worse) on the doors of anybody who rents DDoS-for-hire services, “be it a gamer booting out the competition out of a game, or a high-level hacker carrying out DDoS attacks against commercial targets for financial gain”.