Two men are facing charges of using a computer botnet to launch crippling Web attacks on Amazon, eBay, and Priceline, U.S. prosecutors said.
They ended up caught after they bragged about the attacks in online hacker forums.
Police arrested Dmitry Olegovich Zubakha, 25, of Moscow, in Cyprus for his role in attacks taking place in June and July of 2008. One of those lasted three days and prevented Amazon customers from completing online transactions, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.
In the weeks that followed, Zubakha, who went by online monikers of Eraflame, Dima-k17, and DDService, periodically visited hacker forums to take responsibility for the DoS (or denial-of-service) attacks and to post stolen credit card numbers he had obtained, prosecutors said. In the same forums, he marketed hacking services including for-rent botnets.
Sergey Viktorovich Logashov was a co-conspirator in the DoS campaign, which also hit eBay and Priceline. The charges all came out of the 12-page indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle.
This is just one more in a grown amount of cases where police and prosecutors are going across country borders to capture potential cyber thieves.
At one point, Logashov called Priceline and advertised his expertise in stopping the attacks, which were causing the websites to become unresponsive by bombarding them with more traffic than they could handle, prosecutors said. Using a fleet of compromised computers, they overwhelmed their targets by causing huge numbers of requests for “large and resource intensive webpages on a magnitude of 600 percent to 1000 percent of normal traffic levels,” prosecutors wrote in the indictment.
Zubakha and Logashov, who Seattle U.S. Attorney John Durkan called “cyber bandits,” faces charges of conspiracy to intentionally cause damage without authorization to a protected computer and intentionally causing damage to a protected computer resulting in a loss of more than $5,000. Zubakha also faces charges of aggravated identity theft and possession of stolen data for more than 28,000 credit cards. They have yet to appear in court to answer the charges.