Dutch police take DDoS launching platform offline

Police take DDoS provider Webstresser offline, 24 April 2018
Police take DDoS provider Webstresser offline, 24 April 2018. Photo: Politie

The Dutch police took a website offline on which DDoS attacks could be purchased for a small amount. The site - Webstresser.org - was the largest provider of such cyber attacks worldwide, the police said in a statement on Wednesday.

So-called booter or stresser sites, like Webstresser.org, are often used to set up DDoS attacks.

Four people suspected of being administrators of the site were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday. The arrests were made in Serbia, Croatia, Canada and England. The Dutch police also searched the home of another suspect in Hilversum, but this suspect was not arrested.

In the coming days, the police will arrest people who used Webstressers.org. This will happen in various locations in the Netherlands. How many suspects the police have in their sights was not revealed. 

Taking down this site was a major international operation involving 12 countries, including the Netherlands. The Dutch part of the investigation was launched based on a tip from the British police that the Webstresser infrastructure was housed in the Netherlands. 

"By eliminating the largest DDoS provider in an international police action, we dealt a blow to DDoS crime. Not only were the administrators arrested, but users will also be prosecuted and held liable for damages." Gert Ras, head of the police's High Tech Crime department, said in the statement. "Let this be a warning to anyone who wants to commit a DDoS. Do not do it, because by detecting the DDoS service that you use, we de-anonymize you, give you a criminal record and enable your victims to recover their damages from you."

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