Law enforcement shutdown a long-standing DDoS-for-hire service

Polish police, as part of the international law enforcement operation PowerOFF, dismantled a DDoS-for-hire service that has been active since at least 2013.

An international operation codenamed PowerOff led to the shutdown of a DDoS-for-hire service that has been active since at least 2013. The operation was conducted by the Polish Central Bureau for Combating Cybercrime with the support of Europol, the FBI, and law enforcement agencies from the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium, and the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT).

DDoS-for-hire or ‘booter’ services allows registered users to launch order DDoS attacks without specific knowledge.

Bleeping Computer reported that the Polish police arrested two individuals running the DDoS-for-hire services and collected data from a server in Switzerland used by the perpetrators.

The police carried out 10 searches and seized various electronic equipment, including hard drives, 5 desktop computers and 6 portable computers, 10 telephones, 5 USB sticks and 3 SIM cards, a printout of a cryptocurrency wallet with a private key containing 1 BTC and 1 BCH worth over PLN 114,000. zlotys and money in the amount of over 145 thousand. zloty. The total amount of secured property is almost PLN 260,000. zlotys (more than $63.690)

The researchers at Vx-underground published a video that shows the arrest of the suspects and the searches conducted by the Polish police.

Here is the full video of the Polish CBZC (Central Bureau for Combating Cybercrime) arresting individuals associated with DDoS as a Service providers.Viewer discretion is advised. The levels of dorkiness are off of the charts.— vx-underground (@vxunderground) June 16, 2023 The police discovered that more than 35,000 user accounts were registered to the services, the analysis of the server revealed 76,000 login records and more than 320,000 unique IP addresses linked to the DDoS-for-hire service.

The police also collected evidence of attacks paid by the customers, who totally paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to the platform.

“In the proceedings, data was obtained from the perpetrators’ server located in Switzerland. More than 35,000 have been established. user accounts, 76 thousand. log-in records to the platform and over 320,000 unique IP addresses of the attacked servers. In addition, 11,000 records of purchased “plans” of attack” along with the email address of the buyer of the service (for the total amount of approximately $ 400,000), and over a thousand records of purchased “plans” of attacks (for the total amount of approximately $ 44,000).” reads the press release published by the Polish police.

In early May, the U.S. Justice Department announced the seizure of 13 domains linked to DDoS-for-hire services as part of a coordinated international law enforcement effort known as Operation PowerOFF.

The authorities pointed out that ten of the 13 domains seized as part of Operation PowerOFF are reincarnations of booters that were seized in December. In December 2022, the FBI seized 48 domains linked to DDoS-for-Hire service platforms as part of the same Operation PowerOFF.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, Lockbit ransomware)
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