This Monday, Europol announced that they have arrested 34 members as part of the operation that targets the users of DDoS cyber attacks tools.
This operation was conducted with the help received from cooperation from enforcement agencies on 5th and 9th of December. Agencies all around the world, including Australia, France, Belgium, Lithuania, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Norway, Spain, Romania, the United Kingdom,Sweden and the United States. In addition to the 34 arrests, 101 suspects were interviewed and cautioned, Europol says.
The agency suspects that these individuals are paying for stressers and booters services to deploy and launch DDoD attacks maliciously. The attacks flooded web servers with massive amounts of data, thus rendering them inaccessible to users.
According to Europol, the tools used in these attacks are part of the criminal ‘DDoS for hire’ facilities that hackers can pay to use and which can be aimed at whichever target these hackers choose. However, none of the tools used by the suspects was named in Europol’s announcement.
In September this year, an investigation conducted by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) led to the arrest of two individuals believed to be operating a DDoS for hire service. Last year, the U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested six males aged between 15 and 18, suspected of using the DDoS tool called LizardStresser, which was used to disrupt gaming platforms earlier this year.
The LizardStresser botnet is fueled by Internet of Things devices, and security researchers recently discovered other powerful DDoS tools that use the power of these connected devices, with the Mirai botnet being the most popular of them at the moment.
The available DDoS-for-hire services, the same as the Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) business model, attract many young and adult cybercriminals who lack advanced computer skills but are looking for fast and easy money.