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FBI seizes website advertising DDoS services

Editorial Staff

In American's frozen north, authorities in Alaska have identified persons they say were behind a website offering Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS services. DDoS is where, by one of several means, internet servers are bombarded with vast numbers of requests to the intent (and often the effect) that the websites are overwhelmed with the result that access is denied to legitimate visitors and those servers are presented from accessing the internet. In Anchorage, Alaska's biggest town but not its capital, U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder has announced the seizure of an internet domain associated with DDoS-for-hire services as well as criminal charges against a Pennsylvania man who facilitated the computer attack platform.

The action is part of a co-ordinated effort by the DoJ and the FBI which led to the seizure of 15 websites and criminal charges in both Alaska and California.

A statement from the DoJ in Alaska says "The sites offered what are often called “booter” or “stresser” services which allowed their customers to launch powerful distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks that flood targeted computers with information and prevent them from being able to access the internet. Booter services such as named in this action allegedly cause attacks on a wide array of victims in the United States and abroad, including financial institutions, universities, internet service providers, government systems, and various gaming platforms. The action against the DDoS services comes the week before the Christmas holiday, a period historically plagued by prolific DDoS attacks in the gaming world."

Denial of Service Attacks are a major threat to commercial operations and, perhaps even more importantly, to mission critical services in law enforcement and other emergency services.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska charged David Bukoski, 23, of Hanover Township, Pennsylvania, with aiding and abetting computer intrusions (outside the USA more usually called unlawful or illegal access to a computer). The charges allege that Bukoski operated Quantum Stresser, one of the longest-running DDoS services in operation. As of 29 November last year, Quantum had over 80,000 customer subscriptions dating back to its launch in 2012. In 2018 alone, Quantum was used to launch over 50,000 actual or attempted DDoS attacks targeting victims worldwide, including victims in Alaska and California. On 19th December, pursuant to seizure warrants issued by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the FBI seized the domains of 15 booter services, one of them being quantumstress.net, the service operated by Bukoski.

The defendants have not yet appeared in court and have not entered a plea.

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