A New Mexico man pleaded guilty to perpetrating a series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on numerous websites nationwide, including those of former employers, those who’d refused to hire him, competitors, and law enforcement.
John Kelsey Gammell pleaded guilty before Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright in a Minnesota District Court to one count of conspiracy to commit intentional damage to a protected computer, according to a Justice Department release. In some instances, Gammell used his own computers to launch the attacks, in others he tapped “DDoS-for-hire” companies like VDoS, CStress, Inboot, Booter.xyz and IPStresser to initiate the attacks.
The Justice Department said Gammell went to great lengths to avoid detection and get around DDoS mitigation initiatives at the targeted companies by using IP address anonymization to mask identity and location, paying for DDoS-for-hire services with cryptocurrency, using spoofed emails and encrypting as well as drive-cleaning tools to cover his tracks.
Gammell also pleaded guilty to two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm for a wide array of gun related items – including parts to build AR-15 assault rifles, a buttstock and ammunition. He will be sentenced at a later date.