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DownThem DDoS Service Operator Sentenced to 24 Months in Prison


On Monday, the operator of an infamous service that allowed users to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks received a 24-month prison sentence.

Matthew Gatrel, 33, of St. Charles, Illinois, was convicted on three counts of computer-related and wire fraud felony in September 2021.


According to court documents, Gatrel owned and operated two websites: DownThem.org, which allowed users to buy subscriptions to launch powerful DDoS attacks, and AmpNode.com, which provided bulletproof hosting services to paying customers and also facilitated server spoofing and DDoS attack amplification.

When c was shut down in 2018, records revealed that the DDoS attack (or booting) service had approximately 2,000 users and had launched over 200,000 attacks on targets such as government websites, financial institutions, schools, universities, and homes.

Gatrel provided customer support for both DownThem and AmpNode, advising users on how to launch DDoS attacks on various types of systems and how to circumvent DDoS protection services. He also demonstrated the service’s DDoS capabilities.

DownThem offered customers a variety of subscription plans that differed in price and attack capability, with some allowing users to launch multiple simultaneous attacks.