The author of the Mirai botnet gets six months of house arrest

Pierluigi Paganini October 30, 2018

Paras Jha (22), the author of the Mirai botnet has been sentenced to six months of house arrest and ordered to pay $8.6 million in compensation for DDoS attacks against the systems of Rutgers University.

A New Jersey court sentenced the author of the Mirai botnetParas Jha, 22, of Fanwood, after pleading guilty to violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

The man has been sentenced to six months of house arrest and ordered to pay $8.6 million in compensation for DDoS attacks against the systems of Rutgers University.

The man was also condemned to 2,500 hours of community service and five years of supervised release.

Jha pleaded guilty to carrying out multiple DDoS attacks against his alma mater Rutgers University between November 2014 and September 2016, before creating the Mirai botnet.

“Jha’s attacks effectively shut down Rutgers University’s central authentication server, which maintained, among other things, the gateway portal through which staff, faculty, and students delivered assignments and assessments,” reads the press release from the US Justice Department.

“At times, Jha succeeded in taking the portal offline for multiple consecutive periods, causing damage to Rutgers University, its faculty, and its students.”

In September, Jha and two accomplices admitted to be the authors of the infamous botnet and avoided the jail after helping feds in another cybercrime investigations.

The three men, Josiah White (21) of Washington, Pennsylvania; Paras Jha (22), of Fanwood, New Jersey, and Dalton Norman (22), of Metairie, Louisiana, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to developing and running the dreaded Mirai botnet that was involved in several massive DDoS attacks.

The identification and conviction of the three men is the result of an international joint cooperation between government agencies in the US, UK, Northern Ireland, and France, and private firms, including Palo Alto Networks, Google, Cloudflare, Coinbase, Flashpoint, Oath, Qihoo 360 and Akamai.

According to the plea agreements, White developed the Telnet scanner component used by Mirai, Jha created the botnet’s core infrastructure and the malware’s remote control features, while Norman developed new exploits.

Jha, who goes online with the moniker “Anna-senpai” is the author of the IoT bot, he leaked the source code for the Mirai malware on a criminal forum, allowing other threat actors to use it and making hard the attribution of the attacks.

According to the authorities, the three earned roughly $180,000 through their click fraud scheme.

mirai botnet

In September, the men were sentenced to five years of probation and 2,500 hours of community service. The judges also required them to repay $127,000, and they have voluntarily handed over huge amounts of cryptocurrency that the authorities seized as part of the investigation on the botnet.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Mirai botnet, malware)

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