Federal prosecutors charge suspects with website operations that offered computer attack services

Federal prosecutors in Alaska and Los Angeles charge suspects with operating websites that...
Federal prosecutors in Alaska and Los Angeles charge suspects with operating websites that offered computer attack services. Image courtesy U.S. Attorney Office District of Alaska.(KTVF)
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 4:32 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - A court-authorized seizure of 48 internet domains associated with some of the world’s leading distribution of DDoS-for-hire services was announced by the U.S. Justice Department according to a press release issued today, Wednesday, Dec. 14.

Additionally, federal prosecutors in Alaska and Los Angeles criminally charged six defendants across the U.S. who oversaw computer attack platforms called “booter” services. Each defendant operated at least one website that offered one-stop services of various lengths and attack volumes.

The FBI is now in the process of seizing websites that allowed paying users to launch powerful DDoS attacks, commonly known as denial-of service attacks. DDoS attacks are capable of degrading internet services and disrupting internet connections. These attacks flooded targeted computers with information and prevented them from being able to access the internet.

According to the release, the targeted websites were used to launch millions of actual or attempted DDoS attacks which affected victims worldwide. Victims attacked by the “booter” services included educational institutions, government agencies, gaming platforms and millions of individuals in the U.S. and abroad.

The coordinated law enforcement action is ramping up their efforts during the holiday season stating the Christmas holiday brings a significant increase in DDoS attacks across the gaming community.

U.S Attorney S. Lane Tucker with the District of Alaska noted communities in Alaska have become increasingly dependent on access to broadband internet for essential services “Cyber criminals are not concerned with borders between states or nations but they should be on notice that we will work with law enforcement partners nationally and internationally to pursue and disrupt cybercrime services targeting Alaskans.” said Tucker.

The defendants charged and filed in Alaska are John M. Dobbs, age 32 of Honolulu, Hawaii. He is charged with aiding and abetting violations of the computer fraud and abuse act related to alleged operation of a booter service name IPStresser between 2009 and Nov. 2022. Joshua Laing, age 32 of Liverpool, New York is charged with the same computer violations and operation of a booter service named TrueSecurityServices between 2014 and Nov. 2022.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Alexander is prosecuting the Alaska cases. The initial court appearance for the Alaska defendants will be early 2023.

For more information on booter and stresser services and the harm they can cause visit What are Booter and Stresser Services?