Popular hacking forum shuts down section allegedly linked to DDoS attacks
In an unprecedented move made by Hack Forums, the internet’s largest and most popular hacking forum, it has decided to remove the DDoS-for-Hire section from the forum.
The announcement was made by the site’s admin Jesse “Omniscient” LaBrocca who said that Hack Forums will be shutting down the “Server Stress Testing” section, in the wake of the massive Mirai attacks on Dyn, which led to last Friday’s massive internet disruption in the U.S. and Europe.
The Hack Forums’ admin said: “I’m going to be shutting down the SST forum. No new threads can be created there. All non-stickies are closed. Once the current paid stickies expire the section will be removed entirely. I will be adding new policies to the Help Docs to concerning SST topics for the rest of the forum. Existing policies disallowing SST in any section besides SST currently still apply until I update the Help Docs. Unfortunately once again the few ruin it for the many. I am sure this is going to upset some members but also please many, some of whom aren’t even members.”
LaBrocca said on Friday the section will never return, even when the “drama” dies down.
“I’m personally disappointed that this is the path I have to take in order to protect the community. I loathe having to censor material that could be beneficial to members. But I do need to make sure that we continue to exist and given the recent events I think it’s more important that the section be permanently shut down.”
The “Server Stress Testing” section was designed to help members of other websites to enjoy stress testing service in order to evaluate their resiliency status. But, cybersecurity researchers investigating Friday’s internet shut down in America and Europe that the Mirai botnet, which Dyn along with a few other security firms confirmed was primarily involved in the attacks, was also linked to Hack Forums.
Of late, Hack Forums has been in the news following the emergence of Mirai, a malware blamed for a string of recent distributed denial-of-service attacks, including one last Friday that disrupted access to dozens of sites in the U.S.
While it is unclear who was the actual perpetrator of this attack, the fact that Mirai malware source code is available online at Hack Forum since September 30, the likelihood of the website being involved in the DNS system’s complete shutdown cannot be ignored.
Copycat hackers have been detected taking advantage of the Mirai source code to launch new DDoS attacks, according to security firms.
Yet LaBrocca believes that:
“The link between the Mirai Botnet and HF (Hack Forums) is inaccurately being reported,” LaBrocca said in an email. Anna-senpai, the user who posted the Mirai source code, has only been a site member for three months and doesn’t represent the entire community.”
The admin also clarified that the use of stress testing tool is subject to legally bonded T&Cs. These tools can be designed to verify whether a website can withstand cyberattacks.
“We’re an open online forum which allows discussion and content other sites might not allow. We’re to the freedom of technology information what WikiLeaks is to government and corporate information,” explained LaBrocca.
Hack Forums has also been keeping itself away from any connection with last Friday’s attack and the Mirai malware that’s believed to be involved. Earlier last week, security firm Flashpoint stated that users on Hack Forums may have been involved in launching last Friday’s DDoS attack. Hackers on the site have been known to create DDoS-for-hire services as a way to earn cash, the firm alleged.
Hack Forum’s Server Stress Testing section prohibited posts related to websites that offer DDoS attacks. But despite that, critics have said the site’s Server Stress Testing section was a top destination to buy DDoS-for-hire services.
The Hack Forums site had said that for $80 a week, it would promote sellers’ listings in the Server Stress Testing section.