Europol captures youngsters involved in DDoS attacks

Protection concept: Padlock And Key on digital background

As DDoS attacks intensify, Europol has joined the US and 12 European countries to launch an operation against cybercriminals, the agency announced. Through this operation, the agency’s goal is to reveal the ongoing issue of young adults who engage in cybercrime for fun, when they could use their skills for more positive and productive goals.

Countries involved in the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats project are Belgium, France, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Between the 5th and 9th of December, 34 users of DDoS attack tools were arrested and 101 suspects were interviewed, in compliance with each country’s legislation.

The suspects singled out by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre were accused of attacks on critical infrastructures and information systems in the EU and were allegedly involved in purchasing IP stressers and boosters used in DDoS-for-hire services. Overall, the hackers were script kiddies no older than 20 years old.

“Today’s generation is closer to technology than ever before, with the potential of exacerbating the threat of cybercrime. Many IT enthusiasts get involved in seemingly low-level fringe cybercrime activities from a young age, unaware of the consequences that such crimes carry,” said Steven Wilson, Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3). “One of the key priorities of law enforcement should be to engage with these young people to prevent them from pursuing a criminal path, helping them understand how they can use their skills for a more constructive purpose.”

Bitdefender supports Europol’s awareness campaign of the risks of young adults getting involved in cybercrime. Many choose to do it for fun, without understanding the consequences, yet the penalties are harsh and may have negative implications on their future. Their skills could be used for better purposes and we want to show them that they can choose a different path, from as early as their teenage years.

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