Jonathan Green, leading Ryan Thompson, acts for hacker who disrupted Liberian mobile phone and internet network

12 January 2019

Jonathan Green and Ryan Thompson recently concluded the defence case at Blackfriars Crown Court on behalf of a British hacker who admitted being paid to disrupt a Liberian phone network. Daniel Kaye admitted attacking the phone company and in doing so inadvertently crashing Liberia's internet in 2016. He remains at the heart of a major international investigation into hundreds of acts of cyber sabotage around the world. The National Crime Agency says Kaye is perhaps the most significant cyber criminal yet caught in the UK.

Kaye, 30, of Egham, Surrey, was paid 30,000 US dollars by a rival company to disrupt the systems of mobile phone company Lonestar between October 2016 and February 2017. He created a botnet called Mirai £14 whose purpose was to trigger a distributed denial of service (DDoS) assault on the business's computer network.

Mitigating, Jonathan Green said he rejected Lonestar's estimates of its losses which he claimed were 'unsupported by any evidence'. He argued that Kaye was an intelligent young man who had received interest from 'illustrious businesses' and could be a valuable support to the internet technology industry. 'All the best gamekeepers were at one time poachers,' he said.

Kaye was sentenced to 32 months for unauthorised acts in relation to a computer under the Computer Misuse Act. He also received 12 months for a charge of making an article for use in the commission of an offence under the same act, and 12 months for possessing criminal property. The judge ruled that the sentences would be served concurrently. For more information, see press reports below:

  1. BBC
  2. Financial Times
  3. Daily Mail
  4. Seattle Times