DDoS attacks from webcams, routers hit Singapore's StarHub

The outage follows IoT-based DDoS attacks that knocked out internet access to many US sites

Following Friday's massive internet disruption in the U.S., a Singapore-based broadband provider reports it faced two distributed denial-of-service attacks, forcing users offline.

The attacks, which occurred Saturday and then on Monday, targeted Singapore's StarHub, briefly cutting internet access for the company's home broadband subscribers before services were restored.

"These two recent attacks that we experienced were unprecedented in scale, nature and complexity," StarHub said in a Facebook posting on Wednesday.

In addition, the company has reportedly said that malware-infected broadband routers and webcams were involved in the two attacks, producing a spike in internet traffic that overwhelmed the company's services.

That behavior matches that of malware known as Mirai -- a malicious code that can infect internet-connected devices like cameras and DVRs, and has been partly blamed for Friday's DDoS attack in the U.S.

StarHub has reportedly said it's investigating whether the Singapore incident is related to Friday's disruption in the U.S, but that it's too early to draw any conclusion.

It also said that the infected devices were bought by the company's very own subscribers. Over the next few days, StarHub will send agents to affected customers to "clean up" the devices, said its chief technology officer Mock Pak Lum in taped comments.  

It's unclear why someone would target StarHub. The company only has 473,000 household subscribers of its broadband services. But security experts are concerned that more massive DDoS attacks could occur. The unknown developer behind the Mirai malware released its source code to the hacker community On September 30, meaning anyone with modest means can use it.  

Since then, companies have noticed copycat hackers already exploiting the malware to infect half a million devices. 

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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