NATELCO Launches Comprehensive Investigation into Cyber-attack on ISPs

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Julius Luke, NATELCO's M&E officer

Authorities of the National Association of Telecom-Consumers (NATELCO) on Thursday, January 24, said they have initiated a comprehensive investigation into a cyber-attack on several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) by Daniel Kaye, a British national who calls himself “Spiderman.”

Julius Luke, monitoring and evaluation officer at NATELCO, who read the press statement yesterday, Thursday, January 24, on behalf of the national chairman, Bartholomew Wilson, told journalists that they have begun national and international consultations with major stakeholders in the Telecommunications/ICT sector including the British National Crime Agency, Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, and all service providers to establish the fact and circumstances surrounding the matter and the negative impact on the consuming populace.

While condemning the reported cyber-attack by Mr. Kaye, Luke said cyber attack was not only on Lonesatr MTN, but the entire telecommunication sector of Liberia and as such, the companies and other government agencies need to be on their alert.

“NATELCO’s independent investigation has established that Daniel Kaye was tried at the Blackfriars Crown Court in England under the gable of Judge Alexander Milne. He was investigated and found guilty by the British National Crime Agency (BNCA-03704967622; nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk),” Mr. Luke added.

He recalled that on January 11, 2019, Mr. Kaye pleaded guilty to making articles Mirai #14 botnet for use in a Computer Misuse Act 1990, (An Act to make provision for securing computermaterial against unauthorized access or modification; and for connected purposes) with the intent to impair ICT operations, using his custom-made DDOS to attack and disrupt Lonestar MTN infrastructures between late 2016 to early 2017.

According to him, Mr. Kaye was sentenced as Custodial Immediate for 32 months by the Blackfriars Crown Court in England.

Luke added, “As reported by the BNCA, this is the first and worst of a single hacker disabling an entire nation’s internet access.

“As enshrined in part 5, section 5.8 of the Telecommunications and ICT policy of Liberia, cyber criminality is a new domain threatening digital-based economies and requires serious attention.”

According to him, providing the framework to address conventional offenses such as theft, swindle the receiving of stolen goods, blackmail and other damages through the use of internet. Repression of offenses related to cyber criminality is a challenge every responsible government faces today.

He said cybercrime constitutes a real threat to the security of computer networking and the development of the information society in Liberia and the sub region. As such, there is a compelling and urgent need to safeguard the ICT sector from cybercrimes.

Luke used the occasion to call on all telecommunications and ICT users to remain calm and assured that the matter will be pursued to a logical and legal conclusion.

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