British-Israeli hacker accused of launching cyberattacks against UK banks

The attack is estimated to have cost Lloyds £190,000 and Barclays approximately £146,000.

By REUTERS
September 3, 2017 18:18
1 minute read.
A Lloyds Banking Group flag flies over their Scotland headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.

A Lloyds Banking Group flag flies over their Scotland headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

An Israeli-British man accused of launching numerous cyber attacks against Barclays’s and Lloyds Banking Group’s websites over the past year was extradited from Germany to Britain late last week.

According to police, Daniel Kaye, 29, is accused of using an infected network to attack the banks’ systems, and attempting to blackmail the institutions.

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Kaye allegedly launched distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in January, the UK National Crime Agency said in a statement following a joint investigation with Germany’s federal crime bureau BKA.

The attack on Lloyds Banking Group lasted three days and prevented some customers from using their online accounts, although a bank spokeswoman said that no customer details or accounts were compromised.

The attack is estimated to have cost Lloyds £190,000 and Barclays approximately £146,000.

Kaye also allegedly developed software that allowed him to control up to 1.5 million computers all over the world.

During his Thursday arraignment at Westminster Magistrate’s Court, Kaye was charged with nine counts under the Computer Misuse Act, and was remanded until his next hearing.

Among the charges levied against him include the endangerment of human welfare, following a cyberattack on Lonestar MTN, Liberia’s biggest Internet provider, the NCA said in its statement.

“The investigation leading to these charges was complex and crossed borders,” said Luke Wyllie, senior operations manager at the NCA.

“Cybercrime is not victimless, and we are determined to bring suspects before the courts,” he added.

This is not Kaye’s first run-in with the law.

In July, he was convicted in Cologne, Germany of a massive cyberattack against Deutsche Telekom last year.

However, the regional court decided to suspend the sentence of one year and eight months.

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.

The attack, which the company said caused about €2 million of damage, ended when it advised customers to disconnect their routers and restart them after a software update.


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