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In what’s a case of setting a thief to catch a thief, the U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA) revealed that it has created a network of fake DDoS-for-hire websites to infiltrate the online criminal underground.

“All of the NCA-run sites, which have so far been accessed by around several thousand people, have been created to look like they offer the tools and services that enable cyber criminals to execute these attacks,” the law enforcement agency¬†said.

“However, after users register, rather than being given access to cyber crime tools, their data is collated by investigators.”

The effort is part of an ongoing international joint effort called Operation PowerOFF in collaboration with authorities from the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, and Europol aimed at dismantling criminal DDoS-for-hire infrastructures worldwide.

DDoS-for-hire (aka “Booter” or “Stresser”) services rent out access to a network of infected devices to other criminal actors seeking to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against websites and force them offline.

images from Hacker News