The FBI has seized the domains of 15 high-profile distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) websites after a coordinated effort by law enforcement and several tech companies. The orders were granted under federal seizure laws, and the domains were replaced with a federal notice.
Some of the sites named in the indictments reported attacks exceeding 40 gigabits per second, large enough to knock some websites offline for a period of time.
The FBI had assistance from the U.K.’s National Crime Agency and the Dutch national police, and the Justice Department named several companies, including Cloudflare, Flashpoint and Google, for providing authorities with additional assistance.
DDoS-for-hire, or “Booter” or “Stresser,” services rent out access to a network of infected devices, which then can be used by anyone, even the least tech-savvy individual, to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against any website and disrupt its access.
In recent years, multiple hacking groups ruined Christmas Day for millions of gamers by taking down PlayStation, Xbox networks and other gaming servers using massive DDoS attacks.
The recent crackdown servers as a warning not only to other would-be DDoS peddlers but also users who rent out these services, as the FBI cautions that it will seek prosecution of anyone paying for such services.