The US Justice Department has sized the domains of 13 DDoS-for-hire services as part of an ongoing initiative for combatting the Internet menace.
This week’s seizures are part of a coordinated international law enforcement effort (known as Operation PowerOFF) to disrupt online platforms allowing anyone to launch massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against any target for the right amount of money.
“Ten of the 13 domains seized today are reincarnations of services that were seized during a prior sweep in December, which targeted 48 top booter services,” the Justice Department said. “For example, one of the domains seized this week—cyber stress. org—appears to be the same service operated under the domain cyberstress.us, which was seized in December. While many of the previously disrupted booter services have not returned, today’s action reflects law enforcement’s commitment to targeting those operators who have chosen to continue their criminal activities.”
The FBI also targeted top stressor services in December 2022 when it seized another 48 domains, with ten previously disrupted platforms registering new domains, allowing them to stay online.
DDoS refers to distributed denial-of-service attacks, in which hundreds of thousands of sites simultaneously direct torrents of junk traffic at a given site to cause it to “deny service” to normal users.
According to the affidavit, the FBI tested the booter services whose domains were seized by opening or renewing accounts with each of them and assessed the effects on target computers via DDoS attacks launched on computers controlled by the agency.
The international law enforcement initiative is known as Operation PowerOFF and DDoS-for-hire platforms, also known as ‘booter’ or ‘stressor’ services.