July 20, 2012
Russian Hacker Who Targeted Amazon, eBay Arrested
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
A 25-year-old Russian man who has been indicted for cyber-attacks on Amazon, eBay, and other websites was arrested in Cyprus on an international warrant Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets have reported.The suspect, Dmitry Olegovich Zubakha of Moscow, is one of two men charged of using a botnet to launch denial-of-service attacks against the e-commerce giant, the online auction website, and travel website Priceline during the summer of 2008, then boasting about them in various Internet forums, Dan Goodin of ArsTechnica wrote on Thursday.
"One of those lasted three days and prevented Amazon customers from completing online transactions, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday," Goodin said. "In the weeks that followed, Zubakha -- who went by handles Eraflame, Dima-k17, and DDService -- periodically visited hacker forums to take responsibility for the DOS (or denial-of-service) attacks and to post stolen credit card numbers he had obtained, prosecutors further alleged. In the same forums, he marketed hacking services including for-rent botnets."
Zubakha, who was indicted in May 2011, faces charges of conspiracy to cause damage to a protected computer and other related counts, along with an unrelated charge of aggravated identity theft for an October 2009 incident involving stolen credit cards, according to AFP reports.
The indictment, which was unsealed following Zubakha's arrest, claims that he launched the attacks against Amazon on June 6 and June 9 of that year, the news service said. His colleague, Sergey Viktorovich Logashov, then called Priceline to pitch his services as a consultant, claiming that he could stop the attacks.
"During the attacks, traffic at Amazon.com rose to 600 to 1,000 percent of normal traffic levels, causing the website to be unavailable to customers for several hours, according to the indictment," to Grant Gross of IDG News.
American law enforcement officials are reportedly seeking extradition, and if he is convicted in the US, he could face up to 10 years in prison for damage to computer systems and additional time for the other charges, the AFP said.
"These cyber bandits do serious harm to our businesses and their customers," US Attorney Jenny Durkan, head of the Justice Department's Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Enforcement Committee, said in a statement, according to Gross. "But the old adage is true: the arm of the law is long. This defendant could not hide in cyberspace."