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Monday, 12 September 2016 11:21

Teenagers held over alleged role in DDoS attacks Featured

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Two Israeli teenagers, who allegedly ran a popular online service that could be hired to launch distributed denial of service attacks, have been arrested and released on bail, according to a published report.

The pair, whose service was called vDOS, are claimed to be behind more than 150,000 attacks that knocked thousands of websites offline. They were arrested in connection with an investigation carried out by the FBI.

The teens, named as Itay Huri and Yarden Bidani, have been placed under house arrest for 10 days, and forbidden from using the Internet or telecommunications equipment for 30 days.

Security journalist Brian Krebs managed to obtain a copy of the vDOS database in July after someone had hacked into it and obtained the contents.

Krebs wrote that to say that vDOS was responsible for a majority of the DDoS attacks over the last few years was an understatement. "The various subscription packages to the service are sold based in part on how many seconds the denial-of-service attack will last," he wrote.

"And in just four months between April and July 2016, vDOS was responsible for launching more than 277 million seconds of attack time, or approximately 8.81 years worth of attack traffic."

Krebs has written a long and fascinating account of his analysis of the database which is well worth a read.

After he published his report, Krebs' website came under a DDoS attack which peaked at 620Gbps. Each packet that hit his site had a single message: "godiefaggot".

He wrote that both Huri and Bidani did not appear to have been very careful about covering their tracks.

"Yarden’s now abandoned Facebook page contains several messages from friends who refer to him by his hacker nickname 'AppleJ4ck' and discuss DDoS activities," Krebs wrote.

"vDOS's customer support system was configured to send a text message to Huri’s phone number in Israel – the same phone number that was listed in the website registration records for the domain v-email[dot]org, a domain the proprietors used to help manage the site."

vDOS had been in operation since September 2012, Krebs added.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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