LOVE HACKING BUT HATE PRISON? Then become a pseudo-grass and the FBI will let you off.
At least that's the case with the trio of hackers behind the creation and running of the mega botnet Mirai.
The three men, Josiah White, 21, Dalton Norman, 22, and Paras Jha, 22, all from the US, managed to avoid the clink by providing "substantial assistance in other complex cybercrime investigations", according to the US Department of Justice. Who'd have thought young hacker types would roll over and show their bellies when faced with prison time....
That's not to say the hackers, who actually admitted to being behind Mirai, got off scot-free.
"After cooperating extensively with the FBI, Jha, White, and Norman were each sentenced to serve a five-year period of probation, 2,500 hours of community service, ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $127,000, and have voluntarily abandoned significant amounts of cryptocurrency seized during the course of the investigation," the US Attorney's Office of the District of Alaska said.
"As part of their sentences, Jha, White, and Norman must continue to cooperate with the FBI on cybercrime and cybersecurity matters, as well as continued cooperation with and assistance to law enforcement and the broader research community."
Essentially, the hackers have to keep dobbing in the hacking methods of the cyber criminal and hacker community and help bring other hackers to justice. If this was a gritty East London gangster, one could imagine the hackers being referred to "filthy grasses" among other select words that our editor won't let us write.
What's interesting here is that the FBI looks to be drawing inspiration from Die Hard 4.0 and John McClane's use of a hacker to tackle a bigger, nastier cyber attack. What films will the Bureau dram inspiration from next? Mr Robot, Black Mirror, or perhaps the oddly iconic 1995 flick Hackers... µ
Watch this space
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