Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 June 2019

British hacker jailed over Liberia hacking operation

Sophisticated hacking operation led to the internet crashing in the west African nation

UK hacker Daniel Kaye was paid to sabotage a telecoms company in Liberia. EPA
UK hacker Daniel Kaye was paid to sabotage a telecoms company in Liberia. EPA

A British hacker who crashed the internet in Liberia during an industrial espionage operation has been jailed.

Daniel Kaye, 30, was paid by a rival firm up to $10,000 a month to sabotage Liberian telecoms company Lonestar MTN in October 2015.

He used a string of connected computers to attack the network from September 2016 resulting in such huge traffic that it crashed the nation’s internet leading to losses of tens of millions of dollars.

He had identified a security flaw in Chinese-made webcams and took over the devices without the owners knowing what he was doing.

He turned them into a cyber army to attack his target and then sought to hijack part of the German network Deutsche Telekom to bolster his firepower.

Kaye, who was living in Cyprus at the time of the attack, was arrested when he returned to the UK the following year. Police found $10,000 in his suitcase in $100 bills.

He was subsequently extradited to Germany where he admitted attacks on Deutsche Telekom that affected one million customers in November 2016, but escaped jail.

He was returned to the UK where he admitted his role in the Liberian operation and was jailed for 32 months.

Mike Hulett, from Britain’s national cybercrime unit, said: “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 cybercrime.”

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