A pair of Israeli teens have been arrested for allegedly operating a notorious hacking tool designed to flood victims’ websites with malicious traffic, overwhelming and crashing them.
Writing on his blog, veteran security journalist Brian Krebs reports that two 18-year-olds from Israel are suspected of running vDOS — a “booter” service that lets people pay to use it to attack other websites and services in a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.
Booters let people even without any technical skills engage in DDoS attacks, which can be used in anything from politically motivated hacktivist attacks to malicious attempts to take down online gaming platforms, and can even be utilised as a threat in blackmail attempts.
Krebs was leaked a database from vDOS last week after it was itself hacked, revealing the huge scale of the site: “To say that vDOS has been responsible for a majority of the DDoS attacks clogging up the Internet over the past few years would be an understatement,” he wrote.
Over the last two years, vDOS reportedly earned its operators $600,000 (£450,000).
The leaked data also provided clues as to the operators’ identities, from email addresses to phone numbers, as well as the fact the site refused to target any Israeli websites.
Following publication, Krebs’ blog was targeted by a “heavy and sustained denial-of-service attack,” with the message “godiefaggot” included in the attack. But the Israeli duo who he suggests are behind it have also been arrested as part of an FBI investigation. (It’s not clear whether the Krebs story had any part in the decision to arrest the pair at that particular time, or if the authorities were already closing in on them following the hack of vDOS.)
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