Doug Bedell — February 1, 2019, 2:13 pm

Digital ‘Hitmen’ the Bane of Internet Security


Bryan Krebs fills us in on how Internet attacks on unknowing computer users – digital security cave-ins, if you will – can be accomplished. They’re called “attack-for-hire” services. The more we know about such on-line predators, the better chance we have of avoiding them. Krebs starts by discussing Webstresser, which appears to have been based in Europe.

“In April 2018,” Krebs reports, “investigators in the U.S., U.K. and the Netherlands took down attack-for-hire service WebStresser.org and arrested its alleged administrators. Prior to the takedown, the service had more than 151,000 registered users and was responsible for launching some four million attacks over three years. Now, those same authorities are targeting people who paid the service to conduct attacks.”

This is like hiring hitmen to threaten people one doesn’t like. The overall policing action against such digital pirates is known as Operation Poweroff, and is being pursued in the United States as well. Their activities may sound arcane, but they’re harmful, and we can be grateful for Internet observers like Krebs for keeping track of them.

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