Posted on May 28, 2018 at 6:24 PM
A citizen of New Mexico by the name of John Kelsey Gammell was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he hired cybercriminals to perform a DDoS attack against his former employer, Washburn Computer Group.
Former employee pays to attack WashBurn Computer Group
Back in July 2015, a citizen of New Mexico, John Kelsey Gammell, decided to hire attackers who would perform DDoS attacks on his ex-employer. He used services that offered DDoS-for-hire, which included Inboot, vDoS, Booter.xyz, IPStresser, and CStress. Eventually, he hired three individuals and has been paying them on a monthly basis to carry out DDoS attacks from July 2015 to September 2016.
The target of the attacks was a point-of-sale system repair company by the name of Washburn Computer Group. The attacks have had quite a big impact on the company, with estimated damage being at around $15,000, in addition to constant system failures. The US federal prosecutors also say that Gammell was paying $19.99 to $199.99 per month for another attacking project, this one being against Minnesota Judicial Branch of Hennepin County, as well as several banks.
At first, Gammell claimed that he was not guilty, but the FBI soon discovered that he used two aliases while making deals on vDOS – AnonRooster and AnonCunnilingus. This was discovered thanks to vDOS’s security breach in June 2016, which allowed for a lot of data to leak online. Thanks to the leak, it was discovered that vDOS was frequented by over 1,500 people between April and August 2016, with AnonCunnilingus being among them. Not only that, but the investigators also managed to discover an email that Gammell sent to vDOS.
Gammell admits guilt after investigators found proof
Despite the fact that there was no way to discover who was making DDoS attacks on Washburn at the time, due to the attackers’ use of a VPN, Gammell was still caught after investigators managed to trace various email addresses that he used to provide the attackers with attack instructions. Not only that, but he also taunted Washburn during the attacks themselves by sending emails from Yahoo and Gmail-based addresses. In these emails, he asked if they were having trouble, and if they needed help with the attacks. Upon investigation, the FBI found that both accounts were made on the same IP address, which was Gammell’s.
Gammell was arrested in November 2017, and in January 2018, he admitted to directing numerous cyber attacks against various websites. Department of Justice has issued a press release on May 17, 2018, in which they stated that Gammell has been received a 15-year prison sentence.
However, that is not all, and the press release also states that Gammell also admitted to possessing parts of AR-15 assault rifles. Parts include lower and upper receivers, a trigger guard, a buttstock, a pistol grip, a buffer tube, 15 high-capacity magazines, as well as 420 rounds of 5.56 x45mm full metal jacket rifle ammo, which was stored in Colorado, where he used to work.
He also admitted to being in possession of a Springfield Armory model 1911-A1, Heckler & Koch P2000 handgun, a .45 caliber handgun, and even several hundreds of rounds of ammunition in New Mexico.