Cyber criminal

Court battle begins for man accused of hacking Lloyds and Barclays

A man has appeared in court accused of perpetrating a series of cyber attacks against major banks including Lloyds, Barclays and Halifax.

Daniel Kaye, 29, was extradited from Germany after he allegedly orchestrated the “botnet” assaults, which targeted Lloyds and Barclays in January.

The three-day onslaught directed at Lloyds prevented some Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers using their online accounts after the banks refused to pay a ransom.

He is said to have developed malicious software enabling him to take control of computers all over the world, creating his own botnet.

He was alleged to have launched distributed denial of service (DDoS) assaults – where multiple infected computers bombard a system in an attempt to overwhelm its security and gain access to information.

It is estimated to have cost Lloyds £190,000 to get internet services back online, while it cost Barclays around £146,000 to get their systems fully up and running again.

In one email to a potential client, he allegedly boasted he had between 555,000 and 1.5 million computers in his botnet.

He allegedly said he had created the network of malicious computers specifically to carry out cyber attacks.

During a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Kaye stood accused of nine charges under the Computer Misuse Act, two of blackmail and one of possession of criminal property.

Kaye, formerly of Egham, Surrey, but with duel British and Israeli citizenship, was extradited back to Britain on Wednesday under a European Arrest Warrant following an investigation involving the NCA’s German counterpart the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA).

Listing his case for a plea and case management hearing on 28 September at Blackfriars Crown Court, District Judge Tan Ikram remanded him in custody until that date.

Authorities allege Kaye used a botnet, called Mirai #14, against the banks.

One of the charges also relates to an allegation he “endangered human welfare” by carrying out a cyber attack against Lonestar MTN, the largest internet provider in Liberia, west Africa.

A Lloyds spokeswoman said the January attack was “successfully defended” but resulted in “intermittent and temporary service issues” for some customers.

She added: “There was no attempt to access the bank’s systems and no customer details or accounts were compromised.”

Dr Bob Nowill, the chairman of Cyber Security Challenge, recently said that youngsters arrested by police for crimes under the Computer Misuse Act should be offered a chance to mend their ways and should even be considered for top jobs in security. 

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