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Men plead guilty to creating ‘botnet’ used to crash the web

December 13, 2017

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — 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 Dec. 5. They face up to five years and $250,000 fines when sentenced.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that the men created a collection 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. It is not clear if the three men were responsible for that attack, as Jha posted the code for Mirai to online criminal forums around that time.

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