The 19-year-old owner of the world’s largest illegal internet service for DDoS-cyber-attacks was arrested in Croatia, sources said.
Croatian cyber-crime police officers discovered and arrested the owner, as reported the Interior Ministry on April 25, who is a young Croatian citizen who was reported for suspicion of having committed criminal offense of what the ministry dubbed as “Serious Criminal Offenses against Computer Systems, Program and Data.”
Sources reported that the young man could be imprisoned from between one to eight years for what he has committed. The young man’s internet service is Webstresser.org, which is the world’s largest service where users were able to order Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyber-attacks on owners of legal websites across the globe. More than 136,000 users are registered to the internet service, and four million cyber-attacks have been reported by April 2018.
Any user could buy access to online DDoS infrastructure for a price starting at 15 euros, police said.
Britain’s National Crime Agency said seven of the biggest British banks had been victims of attacks using the Webstresser service in November 2017, forcing them to reduce operations or shut down entire systems and incurring costs in the hundreds of thousands of pounds to get services back up and running.
The NCA did not name the institutions involved, but sources said they were Santander, Tesco Bank, RBS, Lloyds, HSBC, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group and Barclays.
The Croatian police said they had cooperated with forces from The Netherlands, Great Britain, Canada, Spain, Italy, Serbia and Hong Kong in an international action where many helpers and users of the DDoS service were also arrested.
Alongside other similar services, Webstresser has been openly operating in the dark net since 2015 and was a commonly recommended solution for turn-key DDoS attacks.
Andrei Barysevich, a researcher and dark web expert at security firm Recorded Future, was quoted by Reuters as saying that so-called “stressors” often portray themselves as legitimate services to assist security engineers to test the resilience of corporate networks against extreme traffic loads while explicitly barring any illegal use.