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NCA Launches Campaign to Curb DDoS-for-Hire Website Use, Warns of Legal Risks

A warning message displayed by NCA to users on one of its fake sites that their data has been collected and they will be contacted by law enforcement. Image: NCA

The United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has been running a series of campaigns focused on reducing the use of DDoS-for-hire websites. These websites offer people the opportunity to purchase powerful tools to launch cyber-attacks, which can be used to knock websites or users offline. As part of their campaign, the NCA has set up a number of phony DDoS-for-hire websites to collect data on users, remind them that launching such attacks is illegal, and generally increase the level of paranoia for those looking to hire such services.

Brian Krebs, cyber security journalist and author of the blog KrebsOnSecurity.com, reporting on the story, said, “The UK is sending a strong message to those who use DDoS-for-hire services: We will find you, and we will prosecute you.”

The NCA has run online ads since 2020 aimed at young people searching the web for booter services. The NCA also joined the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in December 2022 in announcing a joint international law enforcement takedown of four-dozen websites responsible for more than 30 million DDoS attacks.

The NCA warns that hiring or launching DDoS attacks is punishable in the UK under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and may result in arrest and prosecution, the seizure of computers or other electronics, as well as prison sentences and a penalty or fine.

People who use these services run the risk of being contacted by the NCA or police and warned about engaging in cybercrime. The NCA is hoping that its campaigns will reduce the use of DDoS-for-hire websites and make it harder for criminals to use them to carry out cyber-attacks.

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

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