A DDoS-for-hire service is a paid service that allows individuals or organizations to launch a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on a target website or network.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced the seizure of 13 domains linked with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) for hire services under Operation PowerOFF.
The seized domains are believed to be reincarnations of services that were taken down in a previous sweep in December 2022. The DOJ stated that booter services have been utilized by hundreds of thousands of registered users to carry out attacks against millions of victims, many of whom are educational institutions, financial organizations, government websites, and other online entities.
The DDoS attacks not only disrupt or degrade their access to the internet but can also cause disconnection of internet services for other customers who share the same connection point with the targeted victim and use the same internet service provider.
More on Op PowerOff
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The FBI opened or reactivated accounts on each of the booter services and paid for subscription plans using cryptocurrency. The agency then conducted tests on the websites by initiating DDoS attacks on computers under their control and monitored the effects of the attacks on victim computers.
The results showed that the websites worked as advertised. The coordinated effort is reinforced by law agencies from The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Serbia, Croatia, Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, Canada and the United States of America, in cooperation with Europol.
The DOJ’s Operation PowerOFF is an international effort to dismantle criminal DDoS-for-hire infrastructures worldwide, targeting operators who continue to engage in criminal activities.
The four men who pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the operation of booter services are Jeremiah Sam Evans Miller, Angel Manuel Colon Jr., Shamar Shattock, and Cory Anthony Palmer. The FBI’s Anchorage and Los Angeles field offices are investigating the cases of all four defendants who are set to be sentenced this summer.
The seizure of 13 internet domains linked with DDoS for hire services is a significant step in the fight against cybercrime. The DOJ’s efforts to disrupt these illegal services and hold their operators and users accountable demonstrate the commitment of law enforcement officials to protecting victims and preserving the integrity of the internet.
Operation PowerOFF is an ongoing effort by law enforcement agencies from multiple countries to dismantle criminal DDoS-for-hire infrastructures worldwide. The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) also recently launched a sting operation as part of Operation PowerOFF, which aims to take down DDoS infrastructure.