The Liberian flag. (Photo: Google Images)
The Liberian flag. (Photo: Google Images)

BBC is reporting Daniel Kaye, a British cyber criminal who cyber attacked Lonestar, an African phone company, has been sentenced to two years and eight months in prison. Kaye’s attack was so significant it knocked the entire nation of Liberia offline.

BBC‘s Dominic Casciani reports:

“Kaye, from Egham in Surrey, is a self-taught hacker who began selling his considerable skills on the dark web – offering individuals opportunities to target and destroy their business rivals.

According to court papers, Kaye was hired in 2015 to attack Lonestar, Liberia’s leading mobile phone and internet company, by an individual working for Cellcom, its competitor.

Cyber criminal Danny Kaye, 29. (Photo: Google Images)

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.

Robin Sellers, prosecuting, told Blackfriars Crown Court that in November 2016 Kaye had built a “botnet” – a particularly powerful form of cyber attack that is designed to overwhelm a target’s systems, making it impossible to carry out normal business.”

Kaye attacked several telecom companies in several countries but due to Liberia’s weak infrastructure, he was able to knock the entire nation offline. He admitted to the following charges:

  • Making the Mirai #14 botnet for use in a Computer Misuse Act 1990 offence
  • Launching cyber attacks against Lonestar in Liberia – another crime under the Computer Misuse Act
  • Possessing criminal property – relating to $10,000 found on him when he was arrested

The investigation was spearheaded by the National Crime Agency.

Read more about this story at the BBC.

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