Dutch authorities have issued a final warning to more than a dozen customers of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) website, letting them know that prosecution of cyber crimes leads to prosecution.
The Dutch police letters aim to reduce cybercrime and direct offenders to legal alternatives to improve their skills.
On Monday, 29 Dutch nationals received letters from the police informing them that their criminal activity had been recorded and that future offenses could lead to a conviction.
All of the individuals were customers of minesearch.rip, a so-called startup website that offered customers the ability to launch DDoS attacks against targets of their choice.
Police became aware of their activity after they began investigating the website in 2020, following complaints from a game server suffering a DDoS attack via minesearch.rip.
The service has helped launch DDoS attacks against dozens of other targets in the private and public sectors. The site is now unavailable and the investigation is continuing.
Last year, on July 30, Dutch police raided the homes of two 19-year-olds suspected of being involved in the website. Three months earlier, police had taken down 15 startup websites in a week.
Speak directly to pirates
The 29 letters sent on Monday have no legal consequences but serve as a final warning to recipients that they won’t get another free pass the next time they get caught.
This police move aims to reform offenders and help them stay out of trouble by choosing a legal route to become more informed by testing their digital skills.
Whether it’s computer hacking [1, 2], video games or cybercrime, the Dutch police offer several programs where young people can find challenges that would keep them away from illegal activities.
Three years ago the Hack_Right program and police initiative in the Netherlands and UK started as an experiment for young people convicted of cybercrime activity to change their lives and stay on the safe side of the law.
In the UK, the UK’s National Crime Agency coordinates Cyber Choices, a program designed to ‘help people make informed choices and use their cyber skills legally’.
Earlier this year, as part of their efforts to discourage people from choosing a life of cybercrime, Dutch police began posting warnings on Russian and English-speaking hacker forums that they “will make every effort to find those who have engaged in cybercrime ”.
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