A former Rutgers student has pleaded guilty to launching the cyberattacks that shut down the server used for communications between faculty and students.
William Fitzpatrick is the acting U.S Attorney in New Jersey. He says 21-year-old Paras Jha of Fanwood was a student at Rutgers when the attacks occurred between November 2014 and September 2016.
“Whether he was angry at the school, whether he didn’t want to turn in his final exam, or whether he just wanted to show off his skills, or perhaps a combination of the three, could all be reasonable inferences to suggest what he did and why he did it.”
Fitzpatrick says the attacks were timed to have a big impact when students were completing midterm and final exams or trying to register for classes.
Jha also admitted to being involved with creating the Mirai Botnet.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Downing says Jha, 20-year-old Josiah White of Washington, Pennsylvania and 21-year-old Dalton Norman of Louisiana sought to profit from infecting devices connected to the internet with malicious software and launching powerful attacks on computers.
“They rented out the botnet to other people to commit denial of service attacks. They also extorted hosting providers and other companies into paying protection money to avoid further denial of service attacks.”
The Rutgers cyberattacks cost the university millions of dollars.