International hacker-for-hire jailed for cyber attacks on Liberian telecommunications provider

A British cyber criminal has been jailed for conducting attacks that disrupted a Liberian telecommunications provider, resulting in losses estimated at tens of millions of US dollars. 

Daniel Kaye pleaded guilty in December 2018 to creating and using a botnet and possessing criminal property. He was sentenced to 2 years and 8 months following an investigation led by the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit.  

Kaye began carrying out intermittent DDoS on the Liberian telecommunications provider Lonestar MTN in October 2015 using rented botnets and stressor. He was hired by a senior official at Cellcom, a rival Liberian network provider, and paid a monthly retainer.  

From September 2016, Kaye used his own Mirai botnet, made up of a network of infected Dahua security cameras, to carry out consistent attacks on Lonestar. In November 2016, the traffic from Kaye’s botnet was so high in volume that it disabled internet access across Liberia. 

The attacks had a direct and significant impact on Lonestar’s ability to provide services to its customers, resulting in revenue loss of tens of millions in US dollars as customers left the network. 

A European Arrest Warrant was issued for Kaye and when he returned to the UK in February 2017, he was arrested by NCA officers. 

Duncan Newell

Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He has a interest in cyber security, and has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

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