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Lonestar Cell MTN, Liberian firm, sues telecoms operator over ‘cyber attack’

Lonestar Cell MTN, Liberian firm, sues telecoms operator over ‘cyber attack’
February 13
00:32 2022

Lonestar Cell MTN, a mobile operator in Liberia, has sued Orange, a telecommunications company with presence in Liberia, over the latter’s alleged involvement in cyberattacks experienced in the country in previous years.

Said to be joined as a co-defendant in the lawsuit filed at a London court is Cellcom, a Liberian mobile company acquired by Orange in 2016.

There were major cyberattacks in Liberia, especially in 2016, which led to the complete shutdown of telecommunication services in the country at some point.

In the lawsuit, Lonestar is contending that the cyber attacks negatively impacted its business between 2015 and 2017, adding that its subscribers were unable to communicate during the period as they could not access the network.

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The court sitting is expected to begin on February 20.

Many Liberians were hit by network downtime linked to cyber attacks, especially in 2016, as they were prevented from carrying out bank transactions, just as corporate office operations were stalled, and educational institutions and hospitals were also affected.

Within the two-year period, Liberia was also affected by the Ebola pandemic.

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Daniel Kaye, identified as a Briton, was arrested in connection with the crime and later reportedly confessed to have been behind the attack.

He was sentenced in January 2019 by the Blackfriars Crown Court in London to 32 months in jail.

According to the papers said to have been filed in court before his sentencing, Kaye reportedly admitted to have been paid to attack Lonestar by someone allegedly working for Cellcom at the time.

Meanwhile, the lawsuit comes years after a previous suit filed by Lonestar against Kaye, Cellcom, and some officials of Orange Liberia.

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In the previous suit initiated in 2019, Lonestar had claimed that the cyber attack constituted an act of “industrial sabotage” against the company.

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