A German hacker who launched DDoS attacks and tried to extort ransom payments from German and UK firms was sentenced last month to one year and ten months of probation.
The hacker, identified by authorities only as 24-year-old Maik D., but known online as ZZb00t, was fingered for attacking companies such as eBay.de, DHL.de, billiger.de, hood.de, rakuten.de, DPD.de, EIS.de, ESL.eu, but also some UK firms.
Hacker would launch DDoS attacks and then extort victims
ZZb00t would act following the same pattern. He’d first warn companies via Twitter, and then launch DDoS attacks, taking down services from hours to up to a day.
Maik, who in real life was an IT security consultant, would often criticize companies for their poor security practices.
“Sadly but true @[REDACTED] your servers just sucks,” he wrote in one tweet. “Never thought that [REDACTED] was so extremely poorly protected. It’s more than embarrassing,” he wrote in another.
He’d often claim his actions were only for the purpose of exposing security weakness, claiming he was a vulnerability hunter.
But Maik wouldn’t launch DDoS attacks just out of the kindness of the kindness of his heart so that companies would improve security. The hacker would often send emails promising to stop attacks for a payment in Bitcoin.
Hacker arrested after one company pressed charges
His DDoS and extortion campaigns have been tracked all last year by German blog Wordfilter.de [1, 2, 3, 4]. A recently released Link11 report details the hacker’s tactics.
The hacker was active at the same time as another DDoS extortion team named XMR Squad, and Link11 claims in its report that there was a working relationship and coordination of attacks between ZZb00t and XMR Squad members.
Link11 says it documented over 300 of ZZb00t’s tweets related to attacks he carried out before German authorities arrested the suspect on May 23, last year, putting an end to his attacks.