Threat Management, Network Security, Network Security

U.K. court sentences hacker for Mirai-based DDoS attack against Liberian telecom firm

The British man who orchestrated a series of DDoS attacks that disrupted Internet access across the African nation of Liberia in November 2016 has been sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

Daniel Kaye, 30, from Egham, Surrey, pleaded guilty last December of using botnets and stressors to bombard Liberian telecom provider Lonestar MTN with malicious traffic. At the time of the attacks, which began in October 2015, Kaye was living in Peyia, Cyprus, working for Cellcom, a competing telecom company.

In September 2016, Kaye starting using his own version of the Mirai IoT botnet to carry out high-volume DDoS attacks, according to a press release from the UK's National Crime Agency. Two months later, the attacks disabled Liberia's Internet access, forcing Lonestar to spend roughly $600,000 to remediate the problem. Kaye was subsequently arrested in the U.K. in February 2017.

Reportedly known to use the hacker alias "BestBuy," Kaye received his sentence at Blackfriars Crown Court in London. In July 2017 Kaye previously pleaded guilty in German court to disrupting the service of more than 900,000 Deutsche Telekom customers while attempting to recruit their devices into his botnet. Kaye received a suspended sentence for his actions before being extradited back to the U.K.

The same Mirai botnet used in the Deutsche Telekom attack was also responsible for knocking thousands of British TalkTalk and Post Office internet subscribers offline around the same time period.

"Daniel Kaye was operating as a highly skilled and capable hacker-for-hire," said Mike Hulett, head of operations at the U.K. National Crime Agency's National Cyber Crime Unit. "His activities inflicted substantial damage on numerous businesses in countries around the world, demonstrating the borderless nature of cybercrime. The victims in this instance suffered losses of tens of millions of dollars and had to spend a large amount on mitigating action."

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.