A 25-year-old Russian man accused of hacking US websites Amazon.com, Priceline.com, and eBay.com, has been arrested in Cyprus and faces extradition to the United States. If convicted, he could face more than a decade behind bars.
Moscow resident Dmitry Olegovick Zubakha stands accused of launching what are known as distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attacks on Amazon, Priceline, and eBay in early June 2008. If you’re not familiar with the idea, DDoS attacks involve using many infected computer networks, known as botnets, to overwhelm a targeted website’s servers with traffic. When the traffic gets too heavy, the servers crash and the website becomes unavailable to regular users.
Amazon says that when the attacks occurred, its traffic increased by 600 to 1,000 per cent.
According to reports, the hackers involved, including Zubakha and a co-defendant by the name of Sergey Vioktorovich Logashov, then contacted the management of the abused sites to offer their help. In other words, a combination of greed and sadism probably motivated the attacks.
The two Russians are also accused of carrying out a hack in October 2009 that resulted in the credit card information of 28,000 Boeing employees being stolen. It’s reported that Zubakha used at least one of those credit cards to make a purchase.
The accused hackers slipped up by reportedly bragging about their successful attacks on Internet discussion boards. That led to further investigation and an indictment last year.
Jenny Durkan, director of the US Department of Justice Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Enforcement Committee, is obviously pleased with the arrest.
“These cyber bandits do serious harm to our businesses and their customers. But the old adage is true: The arm of the law is long,” said Durkan.
“This defendant could not hide in cyberspace, and I congratulate the international law-enforcement agencies who tracked him down and made this arrest.”
Zubakha faces at least ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine, if convicted.