The FBI has been coordinating Operation PowerOFF since 2018, aiming to disrupt the DDoS-for-hire service infrastructures worldwide.
As part of this Operation, On May 8th, 2023, the FBI seized around 13 internet domains that offered DDos-for-hire services.
The FBI has named them “Booter” services as these services result in “booting” or dropping the victim’s computers from the internet.
The seizure revealed data of hundreds of thousands of DDos-for-hire users responsible for millions of attacks against Schools, universities, financial institutions, and government websites, affecting millions of victims.
10 out of 13 domains seized were found to be a reincarnation of previously seized domains in December when the FBI targeted 48 booter service domains.
An example shown by the Dept of Justice stated that a domain named cyberstress.org was found to be a reincarnation of cyberstress[.]us, seized in December.
The investigation by the FBI
The FBI opened new accounts and renewed old accounts on these DDoS-for-hire service websites for further investigation. They paid for these services in cryptocurrency and launched an attack on FBI test systems.
As advertised by these websites, the services were able to affect the computers on a large scale severing internet connections from the systems and making them completely unavailable.
Additional investigation showed that these services could also disrupt other users’ internet connections if the attackers launched their attack on an internet service provider via a connection point.
Following these investigations, the FBI stated that four defendants arrested in Los Angeles in 2022 admitted to running these booter service operations.
- Jeremia Sam Evans Miller aka “John The Dev” from San Antonio, Texas ran the botter service named Royalstresser.com (formerly Supremesecurityteam.com).
- Angel Manuel Colon Jr., aka “Anonghost720” and “Anonghost1337,” from Belleview Florida who ran the booter service SecurityTeam.io
- Shamar Shattock from Margate, Florida, who ran the booter service “Astrostress.com”
- Cory Anthony Palmer, from Lauderhill, Florida, who ran the booter service Booter.sx
All these defendants are scheduled to be sentenced this summer, as mentioned by the Department of Justice.
Furthermore, the FBI has been coordinating this operation with international law enforcement agencies and is aiming to arrest administrators and users of these illegal services.