British hacker sentenced to jail for attack on Liberian Telecoms firms

The British hacker Daniel Kaye has been sentenced to 32 months in prison for the cyberattack on Liberian telecom firms.

The British hacker Daniel Kaye (29) has been sentenced to 32 months in prison for the 2016 attack that took down telecommunications services in Liberia.

Kaye pleaded guilty in December to two charges under the Computer Misuse Act and one charge of possessing criminal property.

Judge Alexander Milne QC at Blackfriars Crown Court in London declared that Kaye had committed a “cynical” financial crime.

An employee of the rival firm Cellcom paid Kaye to carry out a DDoS attack on the Liberian phone and internet provider Lonestar.

“There is no suggestion that Cellcom knew what the employee was doing – but the individual offered Kaye up to $10,000 (£7,800) a month to use his skills to do as much as possible to destroy Lonestar’s service and reputation.” reported the BBC.

Daniel Kaye admitted that the DDoS attack aimed at the African telco company inadvertently isolated Liberia from the Internet.

liberia

The hacker built its own botnet, tracked as “Mirai #14”, by hijacking a large number of Chinese-made Dahua webcams.

Kaye launched the attack in November 2016, he controlled the botnet via his mobile phone.

“The National Crime Agency says Kaye is perhaps the most significant cyber criminal yet caught in the UK.” reported the Associated Press.

“Britain’s National Crime Agency says the attack overwhelmed Lonestar’s computer network, disabled internet access across the West African country and cost the company tens of millions of dollars.”

According to the UK National Cyber Crime Unit, Kaye is “a highly skilled and capable hacker-for-hire.”

“Paradoxically, what is urged on your behalf is that you are an intelligent young man who knows what your powers can do.” said Judge Alexander Milne.

“But that makes it all the more worrying that you used your abilities to carry out this attack.”

Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – Liberia, DDoS)

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