Website attack services shut down as part of global strike against hackers

Police in Britain have captured over 60 computers and other electronic devices that are suspected of being used to execute cyber-attacks.

The action comes part of a world-wide initiative against customers of Webstresser, which Europol considers to be one of the globes major players in the provision of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

The name is give to attacks whereby a number of infiltrated computer systems are overtaken and used to disrupt a server, website or other network resource to create a denial of service environment for users of the targeted system.

Under heightened pressure due to a deluge of incoming messages, connection requests or malformed packets to the targeted resource will cause severe slow-down or even a crash, cutting services off from genuine computer users.

Webstresser was shut down in April, while the site’s alleged administrators were arrested shortly after. Now, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has announced its intention to launch operations against 400 more individuals suspected of using the attack-for-sale service.

Websites could be hit with attacks for as little as £13 per month. Europol stated that Webstresser, which had over 151,000 registered customers, had helped to orchestrate and execute over four million DDoS attacks.

“Cease and desist” notices have been issued by the NCA to many of those from whom devices were seized, and warnings of future legal action were put in place should web attacks continue.

Jim Stokley, deputy director of the NCA’s national cyber-crime unit, said:

“The action taken shows that although users think that they can hide behind usernames and crypto-currency, these do not provide anonymity.

“We have already identified further suspects linked to the site, and we will continue to take action.”

Measures leveraged against Webstresser customers falls within a wider effort to take down suspected DDoS-for-hire websites and their users around the world. In December 2018, forces in the States charged three men who allegedly ran such services, and 15 sites were shut down.

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