You might consider a booter as someone who makes or handcrafts boot while stressers will be anything that creates stress. While these may be true in certain respects, they are never really a threat.
Man’s over-dependence on the internet has spawned a new generation of social misfits, in very much the same way as bullies in schools have thrown their weight around. They do not steal anything which is a relief. However, the millions of dollars that are lost because of disruptions in business and economic activities, not to mention all-important systems and processes, are more than enough grounds to warrant a charge of economic sabotage. Unfortunately, the cyber world is a very complex environment where people can take on different personas to mislead law enforcement authorities in order to evade capture.
IP booters, as they are called, are programs that have been designed and sold or leased to potential cyber attackers to create a disruption in the flow of information over the net. Simply put, these are programs that are designed to control other devices or computers that have been initially infected with a malware or any other malicious cyber tool to start creating havoc in the network infrastructure of the targeted website or institution. This is done by making sure that the target’s servers and whole network infrastructure is inundated with loads of data requests simultaneously sent from the multitude of internet-connected devices and / or computers. This creates overwhelms the whole infrastructure so that other legitimate users will no longer be able to use the network’s services. IP booters or stressers are the demonyms of the type of cyber crime known as distributed denial of service attack. By effectively and remotely controlling the rapid-fire requests sent by an army of remotely controlled devices to a targeted website’s servers, the target is no longer able to serve its legitimate clients; hence, they are aptly called ‘denied’ of the service they needed.
What makes DDoS so scary is that anyone can virtually get access to it. You simply cannot buy it labeled as DDoS, however, lest you have the cyber authorities ready to pounce on you. So, instead very enterprising hackers use a lot of vague terms to create an inconspicuous product in the market. This has resulted to the formulation of the terms booter or stresser.
Is it really a threat? Try to look at the interactive map of Digital Attack Map and you will appreciate just how enormous a problem IP booters create every single day and in all countries that are connected to the internet. The map is a real time representation of active distributed denial of service attacks that are occurring all over the world. Every single second, in almost every part of the globe, someone is denying a group of internet users from accessing or making full use of the services of another website. This threat is here and now and is alarmingly growing because of the enterprising efforts of internet hackers.
While IP booters or stressers do not necessarily steal identities and financial information, the economic repercussions of what they can do is not only a threat to the integrity of a targeted website. More importantly, it is a threat to the overall harmony of human existence.