The FBI has arrested a man for a bomb plot involving Amazon Web Services (AWS) and his intention to “kill 70% of [the] internet” with a terrorist attack on a data center in Virginia.
Investigators from the FBI arrested a man from Texas who they say was planning on carrying out the attack on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) data center.
The 28-year-old, Seth Aaron Pendley, has been charged via a criminal complaint filed by the FBI last week for “attempting to destroy a building using C-4 plastic explosives he tried to buy from an undercover FBI employee,” according to a report from Bleeping Computer.
If found guilty, Pendley faces up to 20 years in a federal prison for his bomb plot to “kill 70% of the internet.”
The FBI began tracking Mr Pendley back in January, 2021, when the agency received an anonymous tip-off about a member of a militia forum posting under the pseudonym of Dionysus.
The FBI says the forum was a breeding ground for self-proclaimed militias informing each other of potential terrorist plots they intended to carry out.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI, the agency has screenshots of messages sent via Signal, an encrypted messaging service, that he planned to launch an attack with C-4 explosives against the AWS data center.
FBI Arrests Man For AWS Bomb Plot to “Kill 70% of Internet”
“On February 19, 2021, Pendley sent the following text: “Oh yeah if I had cancer or something I would just drive a bomb into these servers,” with Pendley hoping that a successful attempt could “kill off about 70% of the internet.”
Pendley was eventually put in contact with an undercover FBI agent who was posing as a supplier of explosives for the attack.
He continued to tell that undercover agent that “the main objective is to fuck up the Amazon servers. There’s 24 builders all this data runs through in America. Three of them are right next to each other, and those 24 run up 70 percent of the Internet.”
He continued to explain that “the government, especially the higher ups, CIA, FBI, special shit, they have like an 8 billion dollar a year contract with Amazon to run through their servers. So we fuck those servers, and it’s gonna piss all the oligarchy off.”
A few weeks later, he met again with the undercover FBI agent who supplied Pendley with ‘explosives’ that were lame devices. After a demonstration from the undercover agent on how to use the devices, Pendley was arrested for procuring explosives and planning the attack.
According to the criminal filing from the FBI, “Pendley admitted to having orchestrated the plan to attack the AWS data centers,” and after carrying out a search of his residence, “found hand-drawn maps,” as well as “notes and flashcards relating to the planned attack.”
The U.S. Attorney, Prerak Shah has issued a statement saying that “we are indebted to the concerned citizen who came forward to report the defendant’s alarming online rhetoric,” adding that “in flagging his posts to the FBI, this individual may have saved the lives of a number of tech workers.”
“We are also incredibly proud of our FBI partners, who ensured that the defendant was apprehended with an inert explosive device before he could inflict real harm.”
Amazon has also issued a public statement saying that “we would like to thank the FBI for their work in this investigation. We take the safety and security of our staff and customer data incredibly seriously, and constantly review various vectors for any potential threats.”
“We will continue to retain this vigilance about our employees and customers,” an Amazon spokesperson said.