Law Enforcement Shut Down DDoS Services Ahead of Christmas
Law enforcement has launched pre-emptive strikes on DDoS services keeping in mind the Christmas holiday season.
Reports say that law enforcement from different countries has shut down DDoS booters in a bid to prevent the usual DDoS attacks targeting gaming services that happen annually during the Christmas holidays.
“Law enforcement from the US, the UK, and the Netherlands, have seized the domains of 15 DDoS-for-hire services, ZDNet has learned”, reads a ZDNet report, which further says, “The domain seizures come days before the Christmas holiday, a period of the year when hacker groups have historically targeted gaming providers with DDoS attacks.”
The report also gives the list of the DDoS-for-hire domains that have been shut down. These are- anonsecurityteam.com, booter. ninja, bullstresser.net, critical-boot.com, Defcon.pro, defianceprotocol.com, downthem.org, layer7-stresser.xyz, netstress.org, quantumstress.net, ragebooter.com, request.rip, str3ssed.me, torsecurityteam.org and vbooter.org. Europol had already shut down, in April this year, WebStresser, the internet’s largest DDoS-for-hire service.
In an update to the report, ZDNet explains that US officials have also charged a person named David Bukoski, 23, of Hanover Township, Pennsylvania, for operating the Quantum Stresser service, reportedly one of the longest-running DDoS services in operation. This service has been used to launch over 50,000 actual or attempted DDoS attacks worldwide. Two more suspects- Matthew Gatrel of St. Charles, Illinois and Juan Martinez of Pasadena, California- have been charged in a separate case for allegedly running the services Down them and Ampnode respectively. (Of these, though Ampnode is not listed as a DDoS stresser, it’s alleged that the service had been offering technical assistance and resources needed to execute DDoS services).
The ZDNet report dated December 20, however, adds, “Despite today’s intervention, there are many other DDoS booters (an alternative name for a DDoS-for-hire service) that are still available online. Many of these new arrivals on the DDoS-for-hire landscape are based in China, far outside the FBI and Europol’s jurisdiction.”
DDoS attacks targeting gaming services during the Christmas season have been happening for the last five years. In 2013, we had the DerpTrolling’s attacks and in 2014 launched DDoS attacks were launched by Lizard Squad. 2015, 2016 and 2017 also saw DDoS attacks happening during Christmas. In 2017, the attacks were mostly carried out by individual hackers. The hacker groups involved in such attacks, which mostly targeted services like Xbox, PlayStation Network, Steam, Blizzard, EA Online etc, claim to be doing this to ruin people’s Christmas or to make people spend time with their families than go for gaming. Reports point out that of late the hackers planning DDoS strikes for Christmas were finding less success, due to timely interventions.
“Today’s DDoS-for-hire domain takedowns come as a pre-emptive strike from law enforcement’s side. It is unclear if law enforcement acted at the behest or following a complaint from gaming companies, or if they took action on their own,” explains the ZDNet report.
Let’s wait and see if the law enforcement authorities across different nations would initiate further steps, including arrests, in the next few days.