Hackers create more IoT botnets with Mirai source code

The total number of IoT devices infected with the Mirai malware has reached 493,000

Malware that can build botnets out of IoT products has gone on to infect twice as many devices after its source code was publicly released.

The total number of IoT devices infected with the Mirai malware has reached 493,000, up from 213,000 bots before the source code was disclosed around Oct. 1, according to internet backbone provider Level 3 Communications.

"The true number of actual bots may be higher," Level 3 said in a Tuesday blog post.

Hackers have been taking advantage of the Mirai malware's source code, following its role in launching a massive DDOS (distributed denial-of-service) attack that took down the website of cybersecurity reporter Brian Krebs.

Unlike other botnets that rely on PCs, however, Mirai works by infecting internet-connected devices such as cameras and DVRs that come with weak default usernames and passwords.

Since Mirai's source code was released, hackers have been developing new variants of the malware, according to Level 3. It has identified four additional command-and-control servers associated with Mirai activity coming online this month.

About half of the infected bots Level 3 has observed resided in either the U.S. or Brazil. More than 80 percent of them were DVR devices.

Many of the DDOS attacks launched by Mirai botnets are used against game servers and residential IP addresses, Level 3 said.

"We have observed several attacks using more than 100 Gbps" of traffic, it said. "Large armies of bots participated in attacks, with several using over 100,000 bots against the same victim."

A few vendors that produce devices vulnerable to Mirai are encouraging their customers to take steps to mitigate the risk. Sierra Wireless, for instance, has issued a bulletin, advising users to reboot one of their products and change the default password.

However, it's unclear if other vendors are taking any steps to do the same. Security firm Flashpoint has identified Chinese company Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology as another maker of DVR products susceptible to the Mirai malware.

Potentially, half a million devices from the company are vulnerable partly due to their unchangeable default passwords, according to Flashpoint. But Xiongmai has not commented on the matter.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?