A young hacker from Holland who used Mirai IoT malware to command botnet attacks against Yahoo, the BBC, e-commerce firm Zalando, crypto-trading platforms and gambling sites has been spared additional jail time for his crimes, ZDNet reports.
Prosecutors alleged that, in some cases, the hacker dubbed S., demanded Bitcoin ransoms to stop the attacks.
It is believed he collected approximately $150 000 in Bitcoins in the hacks, which he conducted with the help of two co-conspirators: “Chris” and an unnamed individual in Croatia.
The hacker, who is 20 now and who committed the crimes while still a minor, had already spent 377 days in juvenile detention prior to his conviction.
He will also be required to engage in 120 hours of “community support” and will have to avoid criminal activity for another 360 days as part of his conditional release.
Prosecutors had asked that he be imprisoned for 24 months and pay a $13 500 fine to victims.
The young man reportedly expressed remorse in court and said he has moved on from waging computer attacks to mining and speculating on cryptocurrencies.
The presiding judge reportedly called the young man’s new occupation dangerous and said, “you will need money again soon.”
S.’s hacks on “many companies” reportedly began in October 2016 and continued until his arrest in October 2017.
Evidence submitted in court included Skype logs in which the accused discussed the hacks with the two co-conspirators.
The accused told the judge he has been hacking since age 13 or 14 and embarked on the 2016 campaign because his parents were unable to give him money.
He also said he got involved with the Mirai IoT malware after he heard its creator had made $100 000 in a single exploit.
Various types of malware can be purchased on Dark Net forums, where hackers are also recruited to participate in malware dispersal schemes.
As well, according to ZDNet, “Multiple industry sources…said that S. is one of the hackers included in a list of top IoT hackers and botnet operators compiled by NewSky Security last year.”