Two men have been indicted for allegedly orchestrating cyber attacks against several Forex Trading Web sites, a continuation of the first successful U.S. investigation ever into distributed denial-of-service attacks, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
One of the men, Dmitri Chavkerov, of Russia, is believed to be the programmer behind FXbot, a well-known malicious software program used to create a botnet or network of compromised PCs.
Dmitri and Rob Grespinet, were indicted Thursday by a grand jury in Los Angeles, California, on one count of conspiracy and one count of intentionally damaging a computer system.
The attacks halted Forex Broker’ business for two weeks in October 2007, causing the companies $2,800,000 in losses, the DOJ said.
Dmitri remains at large. Another man, with a nick name SirPipsAlot, who prosecutors describe as one of the FPA’s associates, has already received a two-year prison sentence for his role in the conspiracy.
Walker is accused of helping maintain Gembe’s botnet. According to the indictment, the two used IRC (Internet relay chat) to discuss ways to make the code behind the botnet more powerful and damaging to Web sites.
During a DDoS attack, computers infected with the botnet code are directed to send overwhelming amounts of data traffic to the targeted Web site, which usually causes the site to become unavailable.
In this case, computers in the botnet sent “syn” data packets to both Web sites. Syn packets initiate communication between two computers, but can be configured with false information.
Syn packets sent in an overwhelming data stream jams up the receiving server. Dmitri’s botnet could also direct large amounts HTTP traffic toward a Web site, which has the same damaging effect.
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