Two Israeli teenagers arrested over vDOS DDoS-for-hire service

google project zero publishes microsoft browser day bug hacker keyboard dark room
Updated on 9-12-2016 by Jonathan Keane: Israeli police arrest two teens for allegedly running the vDOS DDoS-for-hire service

Israeli news site Haaretz reports that the Israeli national police arrested two teenagers following a tip from the FBI. The two men, Huri and Yarden Bidani, (it has not been clarified if they are related) are under house arrest for 10 days at $10,000 bail. They were also ordered to hand over their passports and are barred from using the internet for 30 days. The vDOS website is now offline.

The vDOS operators are alleged to have carried out hundreds, if not thousands, of DDoS attacks on websites on behalf of customers, earning at least $600,000 in the last two years. However the site had a policy of never attacking Israeli sites to avoid drawing too much attention to itself at home.


A web service that helped customers carry out distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on unsuspecting victims has been hacked revealing data on the customers that availed of this clandestine service.

According to security journalist Brian Krebs, vDos was hacked recently and he obtained a copy of the leaked data in July. Upon scrutinizing the database, he claims that vDOS is being run by two Israeli cybercriminals under the pseudonyms of P1st or P1st0 and AppleJ4ck, with associates in the United States.

vDOS allegedly offered monthly subscriptions to DDoS attack services, paid in bitcoin or even through PayPal, with the prices based on how long the attack would last. These DDoS attacks would launch fake traffic at victim websites, overwhelming their servers and knocking the sites offline. A particularly strong DDoS attack could cripple a site for days.

“And in just four months between April and July 2016, vDOS was responsible for launching more than 277 million seconds of attack time, or approximately 8.81 years’ worth of attack traffic,” Krebs said in his analysis. He added that he believes vDOS was handling hundreds or even thousands of concurrent attacks a day. Kreb’s analysis is based on data from April to July. Apparently all other attack data going back to the service’s founding in 2012 has been wiped away.

Krebs’ source for info on the hack was allegedly able to exploit a hole in vDOS that allowed him to access its database and configuration files. It also allowed him to source the route of the service’s DDoS attacks to four servers in Bulgaria.

Among the data dump were service complaint tickets where customers could file issues they had with the DDoS attacks they purchased. Interestingly the tickets show that the owners of vDOS declined to carry out attacks on Israeli sites to avoid drawing attention to themselves in their native land.

The duo supposedly made $618,000 according to payments records dating back to 2014 in the data dump.

“vDOS does not currently accept PayPal payments. But for several years until recently it did, and records show the proprietors of the attack service worked assiduously to launder payments for the service through a round-robin chain of PayPal accounts,” Krebs said.

The operators of the DDoS service are believed to have enlisted the help of members from the message board Hackforums in laundering the money.

Krebs warned that services like vDOS are worrisome because they make cybercrime tools available to pretty much anyone willing pay. In some cases, vDOS offered subscriptions as low as $19.99. These sorts of tools, also known as booter services, can be used ethically for testing how your site holds up against large swathes of traffic but in the wrong hands they can be abused and sold very easily.

“The scale of vDOS is certainly stunning, but not its novelty or sophistication,” Ofer Gayer of security firm Imperva said but added that this new widespread attention on DDoS service might stall them for a while.


I tried an LTE laptop for a month, and I wasn’t really convinced

LTE laptops offer up plenty of benefits and are becoming more common. After spending one month with one in my daily life in New York City, I really wondered if it is something that consumers really need in their lives.

With 20,000 sites swallowed up, a botnet is eating WordPress alive

A botnet of infected WordPress sites has been attacking other WordPress sites, generating up to five million malicious logins on certain WordPress backends within the last thirty days.

Get caught up on all things 'Fallout 76,' including recent controversies

Bethesda's Fallout 76 takes the open world series in a new direction. With an emphasis on co-op, survival, and rebuilding a broken world, Fallout 76 is a far different game than its predecessors.
Emerging Tech

Alphabet’s ‘Wing’ delivery drones are on their way to Europe

Google-parent Alphabet is taking its "Wing" drone delivery project to Helsinki in Finland. The move follows 18 months of trials in Australia, and gives the team the chance to test its technology in a harsh winter climate.

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.

Qualcomm’s dual-screen PC concept looks like two connected Surface Go tablets

In Qualcomm's video teaser, we got a glimpse of the company's vision for how a dual-screen ARM PC should work. The internet reacted to Qualcomm's video, calling the device in question merely a mashup of two Surface Go tablets.

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.

Hololens 2 could give the Always Connected PC a new, ‘aggressive’ form

Microsoft is said to be leaning on Qualcomm to power its Hololens 2 headset. Instead of Intel CPUs, the next Hololens could use a Snapdragon 850 processor, allowing it to benefit from the always-connected features.

Chrome’s dark mode may cast its shadow over Macs by early 2019

By early 2019 Google may release a version of Chrome for Mac users that offers a Dark Mode feature to match MacOS Mojave's recent darkening.

These laptop bags will keep your notebook secure wherever you go

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.