Mirai Botnet Hacker Ordered to Pay $8.6 Million in Damages

The office of the US Attorney of the District of New Jersey has ordered 22-year-old former Rutgers University student Paras Jha of instigating a series of massive global cyberattacks.

Implicated as one of three masterminds behind the Mirai Botnet, a network of over 100,000 physical internet-connected devices including routers and CCTV cameras, Jha was sentenced in federal court after pleading guilty to violating the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act.

In December 2017, Jha also pleaded guilty to separate charges in Alaska of conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act. The Mirai botnet was primarily used for financial gain with advertising fraud but was also used to trigger crippling cyberattacks against websites by inundating them with traffic.

A number of companies and websites including Rutgers University and DNS provider Dyn were impacted by the attack.

“At its peak, Mirai consisted of hundreds of thousands of compromised devices. The defendants used the botnet to conduct a number of other DDOS attacks,” the Justice Department wrote.. “The defendants’ involvement with the original Mirai variant ended in the fall of 2016, when Jha posted the source code for Mirai on a criminal forum. Since then, other criminal actors have used Mirai variants in a variety of other attacks.”

20-year-old Josiah White and 21-year-old Dalton Norman also plead guilty to charges related to Mirai in Alaska.

With a $127,000 charge in restitution ordered by the Alaska District court, Jha has also been sentenced to 2,500 hours of community service that would “include continued work with the FBI on cybercrime and cybersecurity matters”.

With his sentencing in New Jersey, Jha has also been sentenced to five years of supervised release in addition to 2,500 hours of community service.

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