A DDoS-for-hire service behind as many as four million attacks has been shut down in a coordinated international operation.
Webstresser.org, which authorities have described as 'the world's biggest provider of DDoS attacks', was shut down on Wednesday following an investigation led by the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Dutch National Police.
The website's servers were seized at 11.30am in the Netherlands, the US and Germany, according to Europol, effectively shutting down the service that had 136,000 registered users and enabled individuals with little or no technical knowledge to launch crippling cyber-attacks across the world for just $14.99.
As well as shutting down the website's server infrastructure, authorities said they also arrested the site's administrators, located in the UK, Croatia, Canada, and Serbia.
Europol added that "further measures" were taken against the site's top users, who've launched the most attacks in recent years.
NCA officers also raided a property in Bradford, where the agency believed a suspect linked to the address used the Webstresser service to target seven of the UK's biggest banks in attacks in November last year.
These banks were forced to reduce operations or shut down entire systems, incurring costs in the hundreds of thousands to get services back up and running, the NCA said.
Other targets have included government institutions, police forces and the gaming industry.
Jo Goodall, the lead investigator in the operation for the National Crime Agency, said: "Cyber-crime by default is a threat that crosses borders. The arrests made over the past two days show that the internet does not provide bulletproof anonymity to offenders and we expect to identify further suspects linked to the site in the coming weeks and months.
"We have seen how cyber-attacks have real-world consequences resulting in actual physical harm, as well as causing reputational and financial damage to businesses of all sizes."
Gert Ras, head of the National High Tech Crime Unit at the Dutch National Police, added: "By taking down world's largest illegal DDoS seller in a worldwide joint law enforcement operation based on NCA intelligence, we have made an unprecedented impact on DDoS cybercrime."
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