Briton admits to router hack that DDoSed Deutsche Telekom

Tells German court it was unintentional


An as yet unnamed 29-year-old pleaded guilty on Friday to charges relating to the hijacking of more than 1.25 million Deutsche Telekom routers, according to reports in the German press.

German news agency DPA and others quoted a court spokesman as saying the accused, who pleaded guilty to "attempted computer sabotage", had "registered under the names 'Peter Parker' and 'Spiderman'".

Deutsche Telekom's routers became infected with a modified version of the Mirai IoT malware late last year, causing over a million pounds' worth of damage, the firm said at the time.

The man reportedly told the court (through a translator) that he'd been hired by a Liberian ISP to take out local competition in the African country for the relatively modest fee of $10,000 for a “good start into married life”.

He claimed the ISP hadn't asked him to hack Deutsche Telekom, but rather to create a botnet that would cripple a competing business.

The self-taught programmer had been "studying computers since childhood", but had not had any specialist training, the DPA reported.

In practice, his efforts had knocked DT's routers offline, creating net outages in German homes and businesses in the process last November.

The Deutsche Telekom attack came a month after Mirai source code leaked online.

The suspect was arrested in a London airport at the end of February by police acting on an international arrest warrant and extradited to Germany.

His sentencing hearing before a Cologne court is scheduled for this Friday, 28 July. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Robotics and 5G to spur growth of SoC industry – report
    Big OEMs hogging production and COVID causing supply issues

    The system-on-chip (SoC) side of the semiconductor industry is poised for growth between now and 2026, when it's predicted to be worth $6.85 billion, according to an analyst's report. 

    Chances are good that there's an SoC-powered device within arm's reach of you: the tiny integrated circuits contain everything needed for a basic computer, leading to their proliferation in mobile, IoT and smart devices. 

    The report predicting the growth comes from advisory biz Technavio, which looked at a long list of companies in the SoC market. Vendors it analyzed include Apple, Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, TSMC, Toshiba, and more. The company predicts that much of the growth between now and 2026 will stem primarily from robotics and 5G. 

    Continue reading
  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022