A 29-year-old British national, believed to be the mastermind behind last November’s unsuccessful hijacking attempt of Deutsche Telekom users’ routers, was arrested yesterday at the London Luton Airport.
The arrest was effected by agents of the UK National Crime Agency, on the basis of a European arrest warrant issued by the Köln Public Prosecution Office.
“The investigation is conducted by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), which has prepared the arrest of the accused in England in close cooperation with the British law enforcement agencies,” the BKA announced (in German).
The federal agency got involved in the investigation because the attack was deemed to be a threat to Germany’s national communication infrastructure.
The arrested British man has allegedly tried to compromise the routers of over a million Deutsche Telekom customers with the Mirai malware, but ultimately succeeded only in creating a denial-of-service situation that resulted in those customers losing Internet connectivity for a while.
Apparently, his aim was to rope the devices into a botnet, and he planned to offer its DDoS services for sale on dark web markets.
“From the outset, Deutsche Telekom cooperated with law enforcement agencies. Technical assistance was also provided by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) in the analysis of the malicious software used,” BKA shared.
The man will be extradited to Germany. If convicted (of attempted computer abuse) he can get a prison sentence ranging from 6 months to 10 years.