Federal prosecutors on Wednesday charged six people for allegedly operating websites that launched millions of powerful distributed denial of service attacks on a wide array of victims on behalf of millions of paying customers.
The sites promoted themselves as booter or stressor services designed to test the bandwidth and performance of customers’ networks. Prosecutors said in court papers that the services were used to direct massive amounts of junk traffic at third-party websites and Internet connections customers wanted to take down or seriously constrain. Victims included educational institutions, government agencies, gaming platforms, and millions of individuals. Besides charging six defendants, prosecutors also seized 48 Internet domains associated with the service.
“These booter services allow anyone to launch cyberattacks that harm individual victims and compromise everyone’s ability to access the Internet,” Martin Estrada, US attorney for the Southern District of California, said in a statement. “This week’s sweeping law enforcement activity is a major step in our ongoing efforts to eradicate criminal conduct that threatens the internet’s infrastructure and our ability to function in a digital world.”