- Daniel Kaye, the man who used a botnet to take down Liberia’s largest telecom network, was sentenced to three years of imprisonment by a UK court.
- Lonestar MTN, the Liberian telecom company was hit by a string of DDoS attacks back in October 2015.
Daniel Kaye, the person behind the DDoS attacks that shook down the internet in Liberia, was sentenced to custody by Blackfriars Crown Court on Saturday. The UK court imposed three years of imprisonment for his crime against Lonestar MTN, which lost more than a million dollars of revenue as a result.
In December 2018, Kaye pleaded guilty of using a Mirai botnet to conduct the attacks. It is also regarded that the British perpetrator was paid $100,000 by rival company Cellcom despite the company being unaware of these actions. Furthermore, he was also the key player behind the Deutsche Telekom cyberattacks in 2016.
Kaye was living in Cyprus when British authorities arrested him in 2017. Mike Hulett of the National Cyber Crime Unit told CNN of his notoriety, “Daniel Kaye was operating as a highly skilled and capable hacker-for-hire. His activities inflicted substantial damage on numerous businesses in countries around the world, demonstrating the borderless nature of cyber crime. The victims in this instance suffered losses of tens of millions of dollars and had to spend a large amount on mitigating action.”
Mirai in the Foray
Kaye used Mirai as a means to conduct DDoS attacks. Mirai, which means ‘the future’ in Japanese, is a botnet that primarily targets poorly-secured devices and can self-propagate to more than thousands of these devices to perform DDoS attacks.
IoT devices with least security features are most vulnerable to Mirai. Mirai is also built to attack different CPU architectures found in IoT devices such as x86, ARM, Sparc, PowerPC, and Motorola.
In addition, Mirai comes in different versions which makes it flexible for deployment in a wide range of attacks. A well-known example is an attack against Dyn in 2016. Dyn, a US-based DNS provider was disrupted by a DDoS attack using Mirai which made it incapable of responding to DNS requests.