Lonestar Cell MTN Confirms Criminal Proceedings Against Daniel Kaye; The British Hacker

Mr. Avishai Marziano, Cellcom Chief Executive Officer

Following the arrest and detention of a British hacker, Daniel Kaye in the UK whose cyberattacks took Liberia offline after launching series of attacks on Lonestar Cell MTN in October 2015, which became so powerful, the affected Company says it can confirm that it has provided a business impact statement in criminal proceedings against Daniel Kaye.

The company said in a press statement issued on Sunday, January 13, 2019, the criminal proceedings against Mr. Kaye relate to a sustained cyber-attack carried out between late 2015 and early 2017 by Mr. Kaye (and other parties) on Lonestar Cell MTN.

The statement further noted that this cyber-attack by Mr. Kaye was a targeted and sustained act of industrial sabotage designed to disrupt Lonestar’s business and that of our customers, so as to advantage Lonestar’s competitors.

The statement also said the attack has caused considerable damage to Lonestar’s business and disruption to our customers in Liberia.  In those circumstances, Lonestar Cell MTN and MTN Group considered it was appropriate and indeed important to provide a business impact statement to explain the impact of the cyber-attack on Lonestar.

“Lonestar Cell MTN can also confirm that, for the same reasons, it has commenced civil proceedings in the English Commercial Court against a number of parties in relation to the cyber-attack carried out against Lonestar”, the statement said.

According to the company, the Defendants to the proceedings are Mr. Kaye, Mr. Avishai Marziano, Cellcom Telecommunications Limited, Mr. Ran Polani and Orange Liberia, Inc.

According to our investigation, Kaye, 30, who was allegedly hired by some senior officials at rival operator Celcom Liberia to carry out the attacks has been confirmed by the British National Crime Agency.

Kaye pleaded guilty to the crime on Friday at Blackfriars Crown Court in central London and is to be sentenced in prison for two years and eight months to creating and using a botnet, a series of computers connected in order to attack systems, and possessing criminal property last month.

According to report, while living in Cyprus, Kaye used a botnet he had created to trigger repeated distributed denial of service (DDoS) requests on Lonestar, causing the company to spend around $600,000 in remedial action.

The additional impact of customers leaving the network caused the company to lose tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue, the NCA added.

Following his arrest in February 2017, Kaye was extradited to Germany, where he also admitted to attacks on Deutsche Telekom that affected around 1 million customers in November 2016.

“Daniel Kaye was operating as a highly skilled and capable hacker-for-hire,” Mike Hulett, Head of Operations at the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, said.

“His activities inflicted substantial damage on numerous businesses in countries around the world, demonstrating the borderless nature of cyber-crime,” he added. “The victims in this instance suffered losses of tens of millions of dollars and had to spend a large amount on mitigating action.”

Detail of this report on how the entire drama started few years ago which eventually led to Daniel Kaye, the British hacker to launch his criminal cyber attacks on Lonestar Cell MTN will come in our subsequent report.

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About Cholo Brooks 13523 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.