TUKWILA, Wash. – A Russian hacker was arrested last week on charges of attacking Amazon.com and Priceline.com websites and possessing credit card data for more than 28,000 accounts for Boeing Employees CU members.
The alleged hacker, Dmitry Zubakha, 25, bragged on the Internet that he and another Russian man used denial-of-service attacks against to crash the two websites in June 2008. During the attacks, traffic at Amazon.com rose to 600% to 1,000% of normal traffic levels, causing the website to crash for several hours, according to a federal indictment.
Zubakha is also charged with possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices, and aggravated identity theft for a separate incident involving the possession of stolen BECU credit card numbers in October 2009.
“These cyber bandits do serious harm to our businesses and their customers. But the old adage is true: the arm of the law is long,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, who leads the Justice Department’s Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Enforcement Committee. “This defendant could not hide in cyberspace, and I congratulate the international law enforcement agencies who tracked him down and made this arrest.”
Zubakha is alleged to have mounted a denial of service attack against Amazon.com on June 6, 2008 and again on June 9, 2008. In both instances, the attacks crashed the systems for hours while the company attempted to deal with the attacks from a ‘botnet’ or web of connected computers. Zubakha and his accomplice allegedly launched the attacks against the Amazon servers by having the botnet computers request large and resource intensive web pages. The attacks made it difficult for Amazon.com customers to complete their business on line.
Zubakha claimed credit for the attacks in hacker forums. In one instance, his accomplice, who used the online name Jjoker. Jjoker, called Priceline.com to offer his services a cyber-intelligence expert.