3 Men Plead Guilty to Making 'Botnet' Behind 2016 Internet Outage - NBC Southern California

3 Men Plead Guilty to Making 'Botnet' Behind 2016 Internet Outage

The "botnet" got the name Mirai because "the co-conspirators were all just a fan of that particular anime," an FBI agent said

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Major Websites Made Unreachable Amid 3 Waves of Internet Attacks

    Dozens of the world's most popular websites were taken largely offline Friday in a series of Internet attacks. Charlie Wojciechowski reports. (Published Friday, Oct. 21, 2016)

    Three men pleaded guilty to creating a "botnet" known as Mirai that was used to paralyze chunks of the internet in 2016.

    Paras Jha, Josiah White and Dalton Norman admitted to one count of conspiracy in plea agreements filed earlier this month. Federal prosecutors in Alaska and New Jersey said Wednesday that the men created a collection of hundreds of thousands of computers and internet-connected devices — including routers, webcams and other devices — infected with malware that they controlled.

    A broad "denial of service" attack waged using the Mirai botnet knocked services such as Twitter and Netflix offline in October 2016. Prosecutors said they don't believe the three men were responsible for that attack, as Jha had already posted the code for Mirai to online criminal forums.

    Jha, 21, of Fanwood, New Jersey, and Norman, 21, of Metairie, Louisiana, also pleaded guilty to a separate conspiracy charge for using another powerful botnet for a 'clickfraud' scheme, used to artificially generate advertising revenue by making it appear that a real user clicked on an online ad.

    Tiger Cub and Puppy Form Unlikely Friendship at Russian Zoo

    [NATL] Tiger Cub and Puppy Form Unlikely Friendship at Russian Zoo

    Cute alert! A rare friendship has formed between Taigan the tiger cub and Alabai the puppy at Vladivostok Zoo in Russia. A video published by the zoo shows the tiger cub and the puppy playing together inside a cage.

    (Published 6 hours ago)

    Jha, a former Rutgers University computer science student, also pleaded guilty Wednesday in a New Jersey federal court to a computer fraud charge for allegedly executing a series of attacks from 2014 through 2016 that paralyzed the university's networks, often during high-stress times such as mid-term or final exams.

    Jha's attorney, Robert Stahl, said Jha "is a brilliant young man whose intellect far exceeded his emotional maturity" and that he is "extremely remorseful and accepts responsibility for his actions." He said the guilty pleas "are the first step in his evolution into adulthood and responsibility."

    A prominent cybersecurity journalist, Brian Krebs, had outed Jha and White back in January as likely suspects involved in creating the Mirai botnet.

    White, 20, of Washington, Pennsylvania, and Norman could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

    The investigation originated in Anchorage after some internet-connected devices in Alaska were discovered to have been affected by the Mirai malware.

    Bill Walton, a special agent who oversees the Anchorage FBI's Cyber Crime unit, said the botnet's name is a reference to a Japanese anime called Mirai Nikki, which loosely translated into English means "future diary."

    Mom's Heartfelt Reaction to Daughter Hearing for First Time

    [NATL-DFW] Mom's Heartfelt Reaction to Daughter Hearing for First Time

    One-year-old Ayla Esler burst into a smile after hearing sound for the first time Tuesday, thanks to cochlear implants installed in the toddler’s ears last month at the Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.

    (Published 5 hours ago)

    "The co-conspirators were all just a fan of that particular anime," Walton said.

    Associated Press writer David Porter in Newark, New Jersey, contributed to this report.