A British hacker has been jailed for a cyberattack which took out the internet across an entire African nation.

Daniel Kaye, 30, hacked into phone company Lonestar in 2016, inadvertently crashing Liberia’s internet in the process.

The debacle cost the company tens of millions of US dollars.

He was paid by an employee of rival firm Cellcom to carry out a series of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on Lonestar, flooding their bandwidth with multiple systems to make it impossible for their service to be delivered.

Daniel Kaye has been jailed for 32 months for shutting down Liberia’s internet access (Picture: PA)

He created his own botnet, a network of private computers infected with malicious software, but on November 3 and 4 2016 the traffic from his technology was so high it disabled internet access altogether.

The weapon, called ‘Mirai #14’ hijacked a huge number of Chinese-made Dahua webcams and ordered them to overwhelm Lonestar’s systems by making them file date requests at Lonestar.

He then tried to send further attacks from Germany, where he intended to hijack part of Deutsche Telekom’s national infrastructure.

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At the height of the attack, it is estimated he had compromised around one million individual devices.

He was paid around $10,000 (£7,800) a month by the Cellcom employee, but there is no suggestion the company knew what was happening, according to the BBC.

Kaye, originally from Surrey but living in Cyprus at the time of the attack, is a self-taught hacker who offered his skills on the dark web to customers wanting to destroy rival businesses.

Kaye was extradited to Germany where he was convicted of interfering with the Deutsche Telekom system (Picture: Reuters)

He was suspected to be behind the attack and was arrested when he arrived in the UK for a holiday in February 2017.

He was extradited to Germany where he was convicted of interfering with the Deutsche Telekom system before being sent back.

Lat month Kaye pleaded guilty last month to two offences under the Computer Misuse Act and one charge of possessing criminal property.

He wept as he was jailed for 32 months at Blackfriars Crown Court in London on Friday.

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Judge Alexander Milne QC said Kaye had committed a ‘cynical’ financial crime.

He said: ‘Paradoxically, what is urged on your behalf is that you are an intelligent young man who knows what your powers can do.

‘But that makes it all the more worrying that you used your abilities to carry out this attack.’


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