The creation of the infamous Mirai botnet can be traced to three individuals. Though apprehension of these criminals has already occurred, we have yet to hear any sort of sentencing (until now). As reported by Ionut Ilascu of Bleeping Computer, one of the three Mirai creators, Paras Jha, has received a minor sentence in terms of prison time (six months of house arrest). Don’t think he is getting off easy, however, as the real punishment lies in the court order to pay $8.6 million to his victims.
Each Mirai creator had different motives for engaging in DDoS attacks via the powerful botnet. In the case of Paras Jha, his motivation was to disrupt activities at his then-university Rutgers. The main financial damage, for time lost and productivity decreased, was incurred by Rutgers University and will undoubtedly be the focus of Jha’s repayment. Ilascu described in more detail the actions against Rutgers in the excerpt below:
Beginning November 2014, Jha directed the firepower of various compromised devices against his university’s central authentication server, bringing it down at least four times.
The server was responsible, among others, for keeping alive a portal used by tens of thousands of members of the staff, faculty, and students to deliver assignments, informs a DoJ release.
Jha’s reasons for the attacks were not financial in nature. On one occasion he wanted to delay registration of upper-classmen for an advanced computer science class he wanted to take. Another one had the purpose to delay an exam.
So with all of this in mind, I do wonder how Jha intends to go about paying off this sentence. His LinkedIn page suggests that he works in the technology sector, but even with the good pay one can get from that kind of work, it is a far cry from the millions in restitution he is ordered to pay. This will likely put him in financial ruin, and honestly, I wouldn’t doubt that he might be wishing for a long prison sentence instead. Considering the damage that the Mirai botnet has gone on to do, Paras Jha is lucky to have not received a more onerous sentence.
Featured image: Pixabay