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U.K. Student Charged for Running DDoS Service

Jack Chappell, an 18-year-old student from Stockport, UK, has been charged over his alleged role in the operation of a service used by cybercriminals to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against several major organizations.

According to the West Midlands Police, whose Regional Cyber Crime Unit led the investigation, Chappell supplied the DDoS service, which is also known as a booter or stresser service, and ran an online helpdesk as part of the operation.

The DDoS service has not been named, but it was allegedly used by cybercriminals to disrupt the systems of NatWest in 2015. It was also used to target the websites of the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), Netflix, Amazon, BBC, T-Mobile, EE, Vodafone, BT, Virgin Media and O2.

Chappell has been charged with impairing the operation of computers under the Computer Misuse Act, encouraging or assisting an offence, and money laundering crime proceeds with a US national. The FBI, Israeli Police and Europol’s European Cybercrime Center (EC3) assisted British authorities in this case.

None of the cyberattacks involving the service allegedly run by Chappell resulted in loss or theft of customer data, the West Midlands Police said.

Over the past years, several teenagers in the United Kingdom have been arrested and charged for using or running DDoS services. One of the most recent cases is the one of Adam Mudd, a 20-year-old who received a two-year prison sentence in April for running the Titanium Stresser service.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.