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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Federal Indictment in Chicago Charges Turkish National With Directing Cyber Attack on Multinational Hospitality Company

CHICAGO — An alleged cyber attacker from Turkey has been indicted in federal court in Chicago for allegedly orchestrating a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on a Chicago-based multinational hospitality company.

In August 2017, IZZET MERT OZEK used the WireX botnet, which consisted of compromised Google Android devices, to direct large amounts of network traffic to the hospitality company’s website, preventing legitimate users from completing hotel bookings, according to an indictment returned Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.  The hospitality company, which managed luxury hotels and resorts, was headquartered in Chicago and the servers for its website were located in northern Illinois.

The indictment charges Ozek, 32, with one count of intentionally causing damage to a protected computer.  Ozek is believed to be residing in Turkey, and a warrant for his arrest will be issued.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Didwania.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The charge in the indictment is punishable by up to ten years in federal prison.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. 

Updated September 29, 2021