Dutch Police Send Warning Letters To DDoS Booter Customers
Dutch authorities gave a final warning to more than a dozen customers of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) website, letting them know that continued cyber offenses lead to prosecution.
The letters from the Dutch Police aim to reduce cybercrime and steer the offenders towards legal alternatives to improve their skills.
On Monday, 29 Dutch nationals received letters from the police informing them that their criminal activity has been recorded and that future offenses could lead to a conviction.
“We have registered you in our system and you will now receive a final warning. If new similar facts arise in the future, we will prosecute. In that case, take into account a conviction, criminal record and the loss of your computer and/or laptop” – the Dutch Police
All individuals were customers of minesearch.rip, a so-called booter website that offered customers the possibility to launch DDoS attacks against targets of their choice.
The police learned about their activity after starting to investigate the website in 2020, following complaints from a game server that was the victim of a DDoS attack via minesearch.rip.
The service helped launch DDoS attacks against dozens of other targets in the private and public sectors. The site is now down and the investigation is ongoing.
Last year on July 30, the Dutch Police searched the homes of two 19-year-olds suspected of being involved in the website. Three months earlier, the police took down 15 booter websites in one week.
Speaking directly to hackers
The 29 letters sent on Monday carry no legal consequences but serve as a last warning to the recipients that they won’t get another free pass next time they get caught.
This move from the police aims to reform the offenders and help them stay out of trouble by choosing a legal path to become more knowledgeable by testing their digital skills.
Whether it’s computer hacking [1, 2], video games, or cybercrime, the Dutch Police provides multiple programs where young individuals can find challenges that would steer them away from illegal activities.
Three years ago, the Hack_Right program and initiative of the police in the Netherlands and the U.K., started as an experiment for young individuals with a conviction for cybercriminal activity to change their lives and stay on the right side of the law.
In U.K., the National Crime Agency in the U.K. coordinates Cyber Choices a program designed to “help people make informed choices and to use their cyber skills in a legal way.”
Earlier this year, as part of its efforts to discourage people from choosing a life of cybercrime, the Dutch Police started to post on Russian and English-speaking hacker forums warnings that they “will leave no stone unturned in finding those committed to cybercrime.”