FBI Goes After DDOS Cyberattackers

By TechCrunch

DDoS is a form of cyberattack where bad actors flood websites with malicious traffic to take them offline. DDoS attacks had existed for years before 2016, but the fact this one incident took down so many major services drew the attention of people who didn’t know much about cybersecurity.

Until then, no DDoS Attack has ever been so newsworthy, but the problem hasn’t gotten away. On December 15, 2022, right before Christmas – historically a popular time to launch DDoS attacks – the FBI announced that it had taken down dozens of websites that sell what are called booters or stressors, essentially DDoS-for-hire services. These are relatively cheap services that allow people with low or no hacking skills to carry out DDoS attacks.

On the same day, the feds also announced that they had arrested seven people who allegedly ran those services. Then, the FBI targeted those services and took down more booster sites in May.

Additionally, FBI agents executed a sting operation posing as customers and confirmed that the booters functioned as advertised. Threat actors frequently advertise booters on underground forums for illegal DDoS services.

“These booter services allow anyone to launch cyberattacks that harm individual victims and compromise everyone’s ability to access the internet,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada.

On Wednesday, Elliot Peterson, one of the FBI agents who led those investigations, spoke at the Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas. Peterson, along with Cameron Schroeder, a prosecutor who specializes in cybercrimes, talked about the work behind the investigations that led to Christmas and May takedowns.

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