Last week, Israeli law enforcement officials arrested two teenagers as part of an FBI investigation into their alleged ownership of vDOS, a “booter” service that people can use to carry out DDoS attacks against websites.
Famed security journalist Brian Krebs reported that Yarden Bidani and Itay Huri were responsible for "a majority" of the DDoS attacks that had been clogging up the internet over the past few years, earning the pair $618,000 in the process.
Krebs had written about vDOS after he received a leaked copy of its database earlier this summer, following a hack on the site itself. He said vDOS was responsible for launching more than 277 million seconds worth of attack time, or approximately 8.81 years worth of attack traffic, between April and July 2016.
Soon after Krebs published the story, his blog suffered a "heavy and sustained denial-of-service attack," part of which included the message “godiefaggot.”
The pair left plenty of clues which pointed at their identities. They had written a technical paper on DDoS attacks, Bidani’s old Facebook page mentioned the "AppleJ4ck" pseudonym he used on vDOS, and the site’s host server, email domain, and text notifications all led to the teenagers. Moreover, vDOS refused to attack any websites based in Israel.
It is unclear how much of a part the Krebs story played in the timing of Bidani and Huri’s arrest. With vDOS being part of an FBI investigation, there’s a chance that the story could have influenced the authorities’ decision to pick them up when they did.
Both teenagers are currently on bail and are under house arrest for ten days. Their passports have been taken away, and they are prohibited from using any telecom device for 30 days. Whether they’ll face extradition to the US is currently unknown. vDOS may have earned them over half a million dollars, but it seems that this is another case where, in the long run, crime doesn't pay.