Two teenagers have been charged by Federal authorities in Chicago for allegedly operating DDoS-for-hire websites that have launched attacks on companies and individuals around the world.
Two 19-year-old teenagers, Zachary Buchta of Fallston Md., and Bradley Jan Willem van Rooy from Leiden, Netherlands have been charged with conspiracy to cause damage to protect computers by Federal authorities in Chicago.
The charges coincide with an international investigation into infamous hacking groups “Lizard Squad” and “PoodleCorp”.
According to the criminal complaint, both teenagers are accused of conspiring with others to launch DDoS attacks on targets around the world. Furthermore, they are also alleged to have trafficked payment accounts stolen from victims in Illinois and elsewhere.
Authorities in Netherlands arrested van Rooy last month. The teenager remains in custody there. Buchta, meanwhile, was also arrested last month in Maryland.
Notably, the federal court in Chicago also ordered the seizure of four domains, in addition to the criminal charge. Tellingly, the complaint identified the seized websites as shenron.lizardsquad.org, lizardsquad.org, stresser.poodlecorp.org, and poodlecorp.org.
The accused are also alleged to have set up a website called phonebomber.net, a service that enabled paying customers to choose victims to receive repeated harassment phone calls, from spoofed numbers.
The press release by the Department of Justice states:
One of the victims, who resided in Illinois, last fall received a phone call every hour for thirty days.
When the victim answered the phone, an audio recording stated that the victim “better look over your [expletive] back because I don’t flying [expletive] if we have to burn your [expletive] house down, if we have to [expletive] track your [expletive] family down, we will [expletive] your [expletive] up [expletive].”
Furthermore, both teenagers and other members of the infamous hacking group Lizard Squad began denial-of-service attacks that they were quick to brag about on social media.
The complaint alleges that the DDoS attacks targeted victims across several industries including gaming, media companies and entertainment. The attacks were primarily induced by botnet swarms of compromised devices and computers.
Some of the more notable takedowns by Lizard Squad include frequent attacks on Sony’ PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s and Xbox Live gaming platforms. Earlier this year, popular gaming company Blizzard also saw its servers attacked.
Meanwhile, PoodleCorp has taken credit for a number of attacks including Blizzard as well as EA’s online servers, the Grant Theft Auto online servers as well as servers belonging to Niantic’s Pokemon go, earlier this year.
Image credit: Pixabay.