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Three Cybercrimes Have Ended in Guilty Pleas

by | Feb 2, 2018 | MyTek Blog, Security


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We know that we often discuss threats and attacks here, but it is a great feeling when we get to write a blog post about how the cyberattackers are being legally punished. Today, we’re looking at three of the biggest recent cybercrimes that have turned into guilty pleas this year.


Mirai was a malware strain that created a zombified botnet out of devices and launched Distributed Denial of Service attacks onto them this year. The developers of these attacks, 21-year-old Paras Jha and 20-year-old Josiah White, have pled guilty to leveraging and developing Marai. 

Their company, Protraf Solutions LLC, was originally created to mitigate DDoS attacks, but the creators used it to create their own DDoS attacks so that they could get money from taking them down. Their solutions were used to destroy their own attacks, so they could collect money and become the good guys. Marai, with the help of an accomplice, 21-year-old Dalton Norman, was a click fraud scheme that brought in 200 bitcoin, with 30 going to Norman.

It was also the cyber attack responsible for powering the DDoS attack on Dyn, which was one of the largest data centers east of the Mississippi River.

The trip was all charged with click fraud conspiracy and each was sentenced with five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. While and Jha was also charged with conspiracy for using and writing Mirai and they pled guilty, adding another five years of prison and another $250,000 fine, and 3 years of supervised release. 

NSA Data

An employee of the National Security Agency pled guilty to “willful retention of national defense information” late 2017. Nghia Hoang Pho was a developer for the Tailored Access Operations, or TAO in 2006, according to the United States Justice Department. This TAO created hacking tools that could collect data from overseas targets and their IT systems.

Pho took classified data and stored it on his own personal computer, and this computer had Kaspersky Lab antivirus installed on it. It was suspected that this antivirus on his computer allowed Russian hackers to steal these documents from his computer. Now, Kaspersky Lab is banned from all federal agencies by the US Department of Homeland Security. Because of this situation, Pho is facing up to 10 years of prison time and is being sentenced on April 6.


After effectively exposing the personal information of billion users from Yahoo, four men are being faced with an indictment. 22-year-old Karim Baratov has also been charged with working with the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation and two of its members.

Baratov hacked into 80 accounts, and more than 11,000 webmail accounts since 2010 as part of his work with FSB. He also provided a service that made getting access to Yahoo, Yandex, and Google accounts possible. He has since entered a guilty plea for all nine counts that he is sentenced with. That is eight counts for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act that carry a sentence of 10 years and a fine of $250,000, while the first count is for aggravated identity theft, and carries a mandatory sentence of two years. 

While it is great to see these cybercrimes and their attackers brought to justice, it is even better to know that your business is secure from cyberattacks and you’ll never have to deal with them. MyTek offers many security solutions that will help you stay safe, reach out today to learn more at 623-312-2440.


Tim - Team

Tim Tiller, LMSW

Tim Tiller, MSW brings a deep service background to his role at Mytek, having graduated from McDonald’s management training program, fresh out of high school, and working his way up through the ranks in the hospitality industry. He has led two prior companies – Multi-Systems Inc., an IT-focused organization providing technology to hospitality companies (where he was named President at age 36), and most recently, as Chief Operating Officer for Jewish Voice Ministries International.


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