The creators of the botnet that took out much of the internet are learning their are consequences to their actions.
Last year, an attack targeted internet management company Dyn, taking out a large portion of the internet. The weapon used in this attack? IoT devices such as IP cameras and DVR’s. These connected and improperly secured connected devices were enslaved into the Mirai botnet, and were used to carry out a massive DDoS attack.
We now know that Paras Jha and Dalton Norman, both 21, along with 20 year old Josiah White, were indirectly responsible for this attack. While they may not have carried out that attack, they created the source code of the Mirai malware. Jha has pled guilty to several charges having to do with creating and operating the botnet. Norman and White have pled guilty to conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
The trio made the botnet to attack Minecraft servers, and sold the botnet to criminals online that used the botnet in ransom schemes. In September of last year, Jha made the malware publicly available in online forums used by cybercriminals.
But this wasn’t all that the trio have been charged with. They also created the Clickfraud botnet that enriched them through advertising fraud. This attack earned them nearly 100 Bitcoin. As part of their plea deal, Jha is being fined 13 Bitcoin, and White is paying 33 Bitcoin. In addition to this, the trio are facing up to five years in prison, at least $250,000 in fines. Additionally, Jha faces an additional 10 years in prison and another $250,000 fine for a separate attack he carried out against Rutger’s University.
While the three creators of the malware are now facing the consequences of their criminal activity, the code for the malware is now out there for other cybercriminals to utilize in further attacks.