A former Rutgers University computer-science student has pleaded guilty to launching cyberattacks that laid siege to Rutgers' computer network and remotely enslaved millions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices throughout the United States.

The malware implanted on the IoT devices was later used to cause one of worst outages in the history of the internet when it was unleashed Oct. 21, 2016.

Paras Jha, 21, of Fanwood, N.J., admitted he and two coconspirators created the Mirai software that was designed to hijack poorly secured routers, security cameras, and baby monitors. Under Jha's control, the malware on the devices launched distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on internet service providers and websites. If the targets didn't pay a two-Bitcoin ransom, Jha reportedly would knock them offline, federal prosecutors said.

Jha also ran a company, ProTraf Solutions, which could be hired to prevent similar attacks.

Cybercrime experts praised the government's win.

"This was a groundbreaking case," said Ed McAndrew, a former assistant U.S. attorney who is now co-leader of the cybersecurity group at Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia. "It's the first conviction relating to the creation, coding and dissemination of an IoT botnet."

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