Extra! Extra! Get Yer How-To-Launch-A-Cyberattack Instructions Right Here!

How do you know when prepaid automated cyberattacks have hit the mainstream? When mainstream newspapers give them free advertising. This month at a Usenix security conference held in Washington, D.C., researchers Mohammad Karami and Damon McCoy of George Mason University presented a paper on so-called "booters," which provide self-service distributed denial of service attacks: select your attack on a website, pay through PayPal and you can "stress test" any target you like. Well, that is what security researchers talk about at these conferences.

But just to help spread the word, on Monday (Aug. 26) the Washington Post cribbed heavily from the researchers' paper for an article under the headline "Want to take down a Web site? This service will do it for just $10." The Post also provided the name, a screenshot and even a link to one of the services, along with a description of what it could be used for—knocking fellow online gamers offline or attacking the websites of Ars Technica, security researcher Brian Krebs and the Los Angeles Police Department. We're pretty sure it's just a coincidence that the next day the New York Times was knocked off the Web by a denial of service attack. Thanks, guys.

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