A total of 34 persons who used cyber attack instruments were detained or arrested, and 101 were heard and notified in the period 5 – 9 December, within the joint action of EUROPOL and law enforcement authorities from 13 countries, among which Romania.
“In the period 5 – 9 December, EUROPOL and law enforcement authorities from Australia, Belgium, France, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, UK and United States of America had a joint action aimed at users of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) – cyber attack instruments,” the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) informs in a press release.
During the action, the European Cybercrime Centre of EUROPOL has supported countries in identifying the suspected persons both in Europe, as well outside it, mainly young people under 20 years old by organizing operational meetings, corroborating the information obtained, as well by analytic support.
The participating countries have acted under the coordination of EMPACT (European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats).
Different activities took place in accordance with national legislation, precisely hearings, taking preventive measures, home searches and fines have been applied.
“Many more persons towards whom preventive measures were taken, have paid for services as stressers and booters for launching the malicious software, in starting DDoS attacks that upload websites and servers with a lot of information turning it unusable for users,” the press release shows.
The instruments used are part of the offense facilities like “DDoS for hire” which hackers can pay for and direct against chosen targets, this mode of operation being identified among young people passionate for video games.
“On 8 December, at national level, DIICOT prosecutors – Central Structure, alongside justice police officers from the Directorate for Combating the Organized Crime – Combating Service of Cyber Crimes with support of Directorate of Special Operations and EUROPOL, have conducted home searches in the area of Galati and Sibiu Counties,” the quoted document mentions.
Following the searches, several computer units were lifted, as well as laptops, HDDs, memory sticks and mobile phones.
According to investigators, there is a reasonable suspicion that, starting from 2013 until this point, T.M.I. suspect has launched DDoS cyber attacks on the Romanian territory, using stresser services – cyber programs that facilitate launching the cyber attacks by users, usually targeting websites or hosting services on servers with high demand as those of banks, card payments platforms, etc.
“Starting from 2013 until this point, the suspect has purchased the “attack time” totalling over 250 hours for using the platforms that have at disposal stresser services, conducting approximately 2,000 distinct cyber attacks aimed at a public institution,” DIICOT says.
The prosecutors are conducting searches on this case regarding crimes of disturbing the functioning of cyber systems and illegal operations with cyber devices or programs.
Also participating in the activities were police officers from structures of combating organized crime from Galati and Sibiu, as well fighters from Service for Special Actions of Galati County Police Inspectorate.