Inside Africa

Briton jailed for large-scale Liberian cyber attack

5 minutes ago | Liberia Briton jailed for large-scale Liberian cyber attack By AFP A British man was sentenced to 32 months in prison after pleading guilty to computer misuse and criminal property possession from late 2016 to early 2017. By Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV (AFP/File)

A British man was jailed by a London court on Friday for orchestrating a massive cyber attack against a telecommunications company in Liberia two years ago.

Daniel Kaye, 30, was sentenced to 32 months in prison after pleading guilty to computer misuse and criminal property possession from late 2016 to early 2017.

The court heard the self-taught hacker was paid around $30,000 (26,000 euros) by a rival to disrupt the systems of mobile phone company Lonestar MTN, Liberia's biggest internet provider.

The so-called distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks overwhelmed its networks and meant its servers couldn't operate properly, prosecutor Robin Sellers told the court.

The firm spent $600,000 (523,000 euros) fixing the problem, losing tens of millions of dollars in revenue, he said.

Kaye's lawyer, Jonathan Green, had argued Lonestar's estimates of its losses were "unsupported by any evidence".

"Nobody died, nobody's life was imperilled, at worst Lonestar customers suffered slow internet speeds," he argued.

Sentencing Kaye, Judge Alexander Hugh Milne called his actions a "cynical and financially driven attack upon a legitimate business enterprise".

Kaye, a dual British and Israeli national, was extradited from Germany in August, 2017, under a European Arrest Warrant. That followed a joint investigation by Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA) and Germany's federal crime bureau BKA.

The probe initially focussed on interference with the systems of Deutsche Telekom before investigators expanded it when they realised it was part of the Liberian attack.

Kaye was convicted in Germany in July 2017 of attempted computer sabotage and given a 20-month sentence, suspended for three years.

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