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British 'Spiderman' convicted over cyber attack in Germany

Daniel K, who is accused of having committed a cyber attack against Deutsche Telekom covers his face in court. Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Web Team Cologne, Germany Jul 28, 2017, 01.50 PM (IST)

A 29-year-old British hacker was handed a suspended jail sentence by a German court on Friday for a massive cyber attack against Deutsche Telekom last year.

The regional court in the western city of Cologne said it would suspend the sentence of one year and eight months against the defendant, Daniel Kaye, following pleas to this effect by both prosecutors and the defence.

The convicted hacker, who used the online alias "Spiderman", among other names, also faces criminal charges in Britain, where authorities have requested his extradition.

The British man last week described as "the worst mistake of my life" the attack that knocked more than one million German households offline in November, carried out for money on behalf of a Liberian client.

He was detained in February at London's Luton airport on a European arrest warrant for attempted computer sabotage and extradited to Germany.

German police said the goal of the attack was to infect users' computers with a "botnet" - a network of web-connected machines that can be manipulated with malware and used to assault other online targets.

Kaye told the court he was paid $10,000 by a Liberian telecom company which wanted to use the botnet to damage a local rival.

Deutsche Telekom, Germany's largest telecom company, had said the attack caused internet outages for as many as 900,000 of its customers, or about 4.5 percent of its 20 million fixed-line customers, but that it was thwarted before it could spread, Reuters reported.

The attack, which the company said caused about two million euros of damage, ended when it advised customers to disconnect their routers and restart them after a software update.

The large-scale strike fuelled concerns over cyber security in Germany and officials have warned that more online assaults are possible ahead of a general election in September.

Although he will not face jail-time in Germany, Britain has opened probes against Kaye for alleged involvement in other hacking attacks and bank blackmail cases, German news agency DPA reported.

(Inputs: AFP & Reuters)

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