RealNews

FBI busts alleged DDoS Mafia

A Massachusetts businessman allegedly paid members of the computer underground to launch organized, crippling distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against three of his competitors, in what federal officials are calling the first criminal case to arise from a DDoS-for-hire scheme. Jay Echouafni, 37, is a fugitive from a five-count federal indictment in Los Angeles charging him with aiding and abetting computer intrusion and with conspiracy. As CEO of the online satellite TV retailer Orbit Communication Corp., Echouafni allegedly paid a business associate to recruit members of the computer underground to cripple three online stores, resulting in long periods of downtime and an estimated $2 million in losses to the businesses and their service providers. Paul Ashley, 30, of Powell, Ohio, is named in a separate criminal complaint as Echouafni’s go-between in arranging two of the attacks. Ashley was the network administrator of the Web and IRC hosting company CIT/FooNet, run from his home, which was shuttered sometime after being raided by the FBI last February. Three other Americans and one U.K. citizen are charged with actually carrying out the attacks. Full Story

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