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Mirai botnet creators plead guilty

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Three men, Paras Jha, 21, Josiah White, 20, and Dalton Norman, 21, entered guilty pleas for their roles in creating and deploying the Mirai botnet last year. The men apparently ran their own DDoS mitigation service, meaning they unleashed this massive botnet of zombie devices in an effort to boost their business. They would extort companies for their services after they were already targeted and also leased their botnet out to other attackers. Under their guilty pleas, Jha agreed to give up 13 bitcoin, which is currently worth around $225,000. White agreed to give up 33 bitcoin, which is worth more than $500,000.

Mirai took down huge portions of the web last year when it overloaded domain registration service provider Dyn with malicious traffic requests. Mirai compromised more than 100,000 devices, including IP cameras and DVR boards from Chinese electronic company Hangzhou Xiongmai. These parts came with a default username and password. Users weren't required to change that combo. After Mirai's source code was publicly released, more than 400,000 devices were compromised.