An antispam organization is pushing for quick law enforcement action against five people it alleges took part in one of the largest cyberattacks on record that caused Internet outages throughout Europe early last year.
Spamhaus wrote on Monday that it has identified two U.S. nationals, two Russians and one Chinese national at large whom it believes participated in a large distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) that was nicknamed “Stophaus.”
Spamhaus is a frequent target for retribution due to its widely used data feeds that help software applications identify and filter spam messages.
“Several more spammers and cybercrime-involved server hosting company owners were peripherally involved, and at this time most have been identified by both Spamhaus and law enforcement,” the organization wrote.
Last week, the U.K.’s National Crime Agency said it charged a 17-year-old from London with computer misuse, fraud and money laundering in connection with the attacks. The teenager, who wasn’t named, was arrested last year, the agency said.
Spain also arrested a Dutch man in April 2013 in connection with the attacks. The man, Sven Olaf Kamphuis, ran CyberBunker.com, a hosting provider that Spamhaus alleges offers a “bulletproof” service that doesn’t cooperate with law enforcement.
CyberBunker.com has contested Spamhaus’ belief that it is a rogue hosting provider.
The Stophaus attack was considered one of the largest-ever DDoS attacks. It was a DNS (Domain Name System) reflection attack, which involves sending spoofed requests to public DNS servers that can be used by anyone.
The requests were forged to appear to come from the victim’s IP address, sending overwhelming traffic to that network. At its peak, the attack generated 300GBits/s of traffic, which overwhelmed Spamhaus and caused problems for some European Internet exchange nodes, or places where ISPs link to transfer traffic to one another.