Bolton man could face 15 years for US hack attacks

Computer Security

A British man has been indicted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over a series of Denial of Service (DoS) attacks that shut down the websites of several retailers.

Lee Graham Walker from Bleys Bolton, and Axel Gembe from Germany, were accused of attacking two retailers of satellite equipment by shutting down their websites using a multitude of computers to attack single targets.

They have both accused of one count on conspiracy and one count of intentionally damaging a computer system, charges that could bring each of them up to 15 years in prison.

The case is connected to the successful prosecution of Jay Echoufani and Paul Ashley, the first successful investigation of a large scale distributed DoS (DDoS) attack waged for commercial purposes in the US. Echoufani is currently a fugitive while Ashley is serving a two-year prison term.

Court documents allege that Echoufani and Ashley hired Walker to launch the DDoS attacks against competitors of their company Orbit. According to the indictment, one company suffered more than $200,000 (111,000) in losses and had to halt production for two weeks following one attack.

It was claimed that Echoufani directed Ashley to prevent the public from accessing the two victimised websites while Walker was responsible for launching the attacks using a network of computers that he developed with Gembe.

It is believed that Gembe was responsible for the well-known Agobot computer worm which was allegedly used in the attacks.