2 Israelis arrested for major hacking operation after FBI tip-off

18-year-olds Itay Huri and Yarden Bidani suspected of pocketing $600,000 for masterminding cyber attack-for-hire services

Illustrative image of a hacker, via Shutterstock.
Illustrative image of a hacker, via Shutterstock.

Two Israeli men suspected of pocketing over $600,000by running a major international hacking operation were arrested by police in Israel last week following a tip-off by the FBI.

Itay Huri and Yarden Bidani, both 18, were released on bail to their homes in central Israel on Thursday, the financial daily The Marker reported over the weekend.

The story was unveiled by American cyber-security expert and tech writer Brian Krebs, who published an article about another major cyber crime operation on his blog last week that led back to Huri and Bidani.

According to Krebs, the two Israelis — operating under the pseudonyms of P1st or P1st0 and AppleJ4ck — ran vDOS, a “booter” service that coordinated more than 150,000 so-called distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks designed to temporarily knock websites offline.

The information was obtained by after vDOS itself was hacked in July, and its database leaked online.

The report said vDOS offered monthly subscriptions for their DDoS attack services with prices ranging from $20 to $200, based on the length and intensity of the cyberattack.

DDoS attacks launch fake traffic at websites, flooding their servers and knocking the sites offline. A particularly effective DDoS attack can cripple a site for days.

“To say that vDOS has been responsible for a majority of the DDoS attacks clogging up the Internet over the past few years would be an understatement,” the report on the security blog said.

The report said vDos had been responsible for 277 million seconds of attack time between April and July 2016.

The leaked documents exposed payments vDOS that reportedly showed that Huri and Bidani earned $618,000 since 2014.

According to The Marker, Israel Police in a Thursday statement confirmed the arrest of “two major [hacking] suspects from central Israel at the request of the FBI.”

Huri and Bidani on Friday were court-ordered to remain under supervised house arrest for 10 days, required to post a NIS 40,000 ($10,000) bond, and were barred form using the internet for a period of 30 days.

The police said both suspects are banned from leaving the country, with both their passports turned in to police. Huri and Bidani were further “required to report for police questioning upon request,” the statement said.

It’s not clear if the US will seek extradition of the suspects.

Email addresses associated with vDOS did not respond to requests for comment.

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