Teen Charged for Selling Malware Used in DDoS Attacks

An 18-year-old teenager named Jack Chappell was charged by the West Midlands for selling malware to attackers over the web which could potentially send Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks to systems of large corporations.

The malware

The malware that Chappell sold was originally meant to carry DDoS attacks on PCs of some of the largest corporations in the UK, including T-Mobile, EE, Vodafone, O2, BBC, BT, Amazon, Netflix, Virgin Media and the National Crime Agency.

However, an investigation run by the West Midlands Regional Police in collaboration with the Israeli Police, the FBI and Europol’s Cybercrime unit led to Chappell’s identification. Details of how he was found have not been revealed.

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What is a DDoS attack?

A DDoS attack involves sending a huge amount of illegal traffic to compromised machines and therefore disrupting them completely.

The system can crash and lead to a massive loss of data, particularly, in the case of companies which host a significant amount of information regarding their clients and customers.

The Charges

The teenager has not only been charged with misusing computers under the Computer Misuse Act but has also been charged with money laundering and assisting others in cybercrime.

It has also been revealed that the teenager was sharing the rewards with another American national whose name and whereabouts have not been revealed.

Chappell will be appearing in front of the Manchester Magistrates Court where his sentence will be announced.

Associations with the NatWest incident

Chappell has been alleged to have been associated with the NatWest incident back in 2015 in which the bank suffered a malicious DDoS attack locking out its users from logging into their accounts.

It is now that the police believes that the malware which allowed criminals to hack into the bank’s network was in fact, provided by Chappell.

Corporations under increasing threat

Large corporations are under serious threat from such cyber crimes as the rate of attacks is rising tremendously. The recent WannaCry incident, Petya attack along with the Erebus malware incident which compelled a web hosting company to pay a million dollars in ransom, have brought corporations to their knees.

While Europol brought down a cyber criminal group a few weeks go that was responsible for selling malware which could bypass antivirus software. Some of the culprits are still on the loose.

Security agencies need to become more proactive in detecting these threats and prevent them early on to avoid major accidents.

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Jahanzaib Hassan