The United States (US) federal government has seized 13 domains linked to ‘booter’ websites that offered distributed denial of service (DDoS)-attacks-for-hire services.
So-called ‘booter’ sites allow people to pay malicious actors to launch DDoS attacks against people or organizations of their choice. DDoS attacks disrupt sites by overwhelming their infrastructure with a large amount of internet traffic, which overwhelms the site’s bandwidth and prevents users from accessing it.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seized the domains on May 8. The seizure revealed that “hundreds of thousands of registered users have used these services to launch millions of attacks against millions of victims”, including financial institutions, school districts, government websites and universities. Additionally, 10 of the 13 domains were reincarnated versions of domains previously seized in a similar sweep in December 2022.
The Los Angeles Justice Department announced in relation to the sites seized that four men who pleaded guilty in late 2022 and were charged with federal charges earlier this year, admitted that they operated or participated in the operation of booter services. All four defendants are due to be sentenced later in 2023.
The FBI and Los Angeles Justice Department have said that the investigation into booter sites remains ongoing.