UK Runs Fake DDoS-for-Hire Sites

Brian Krebs is reporting that the UK’s National Crime Agency is setting up fake DDoS-for-hire sites as part of a sting operation:

The NCA says all of its fake so-called “booter” or “stresser” sites -­ which have so far been accessed by several thousand people—have been created to look like they offer the tools and services that enable cyber criminals to execute these attacks.

“However, after users register, rather than being given access to cyber crime tools, their data is collated by investigators,” reads an NCA advisory on the program. “Users based in the UK will be contacted by the National Crime Agency or police and warned about engaging in cyber crime. Information relating to those based overseas is being passed to international law enforcement.”

The NCA declined to say how many phony booter sites it had set up, or for how long they have been running. The NCA says hiring or launching attacks designed to knock websites or users offline is punishable in the UK under the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

“Going forward, people who wish to use these services can’t be sure who is actually behind them, so why take the risk?” the NCA announcement continues.

Posted on April 3, 2023 at 7:05 AM9 Comments


ayu April 3, 2023 7:46 AM

The NCA says hiring or launching attacks designed to knock websites or users offline is punishable in the UK under the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

Was there internet websites or users already in 1990?

Rob Brewer April 3, 2023 8:15 AM

Was there internet websites or users already in 1990?

Websites, not really. Internet yes, though the CMA was passed at least partly in response to a hacking incident on Prestel, a two-way Videotex system run by the British Post Office. In any case, the CMA has been amended by subsequent acts of parliament, so its current text isn’t all from 1990.

wiredog April 3, 2023 11:17 AM

The Morris Worm, which DoSed something like 10% of the internet, was released a quarter century ago.

DaveC April 3, 2023 12:07 PM

The Morris Worm […] was released a quarter century ago.

That makes it sound like 1998 when it was actually in November 1988, 34.5 years ago.

Clive Robinson April 4, 2023 8:52 AM


Anyone else remember the “Operation cupcake” recipe insertion incident from oh around thirteen years ago?

Where two of “Darcy Israel’s” recipies (rocky road and mojito) in a PDF were inserted in an online magazine for wannabe Al Qaida types?

As it was known that you can “back-door” PDF’s to “phone home” back then I often pondered if they had…

Q April 4, 2023 9:46 AM

And naturally those super safe VPNs that promise to never log are never a sting operation. I’m sure it will be fine to use them to conduct all of your business. /s

Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking when it all appears to be so easy and simple. Don’t people even have a small amount of scepticism?

JonKnowsNothing April 4, 2023 1:19 PM

@Clive, All

re: Operation cupcake and poison recipes

The USA (at least) maintains poisoned honey pot sites that touch on any topic the 3Ls think are attractive to “the wrong sort”.

Many of the sites (which I won’t name because someone might actually LOOK at them), deal with topics that detract from the Western-Judeo-Christian-Mythos. These sites are on-line 24-7 and even getting a redirect or pre-fectch link to them can land folks in a The World According to GITMO.

You don’t have to do anything to get the tag, but downloading the information is a surefire way to get a 4S on your next flight.

Some of the sites were created by US Citizens who where later extra-judicially targeted by Predator Drones. Multiple attempts where made before the 3Ls got the proper blast radius. Warheads on Foreheads was the new mantra then and revealed how the 3Ls used smartphones as target bullseyes.

Perhaps “reveled” is a better description.

Winter April 5, 2023 2:36 AM


The taking of someones life, and many aroind them as “collateral damage” should never be a cause for celebration, it’s abhorrent in all civilized societies, which is why they banned the “Death Penalty”.

The Death Penalty is simply Human Sacrifice. You publicly kill a human to persuade the gods of fertility, wealth, or justice to favor or benefit the community.

Human Sacrifice always caries an aspect of terror in them. That was true for the Aztecs, and it is true in the USA.

Extra judicial executions are simply just terrorism.

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