DDoS attack from Mirai malware 'killing business' in Liberia

The DDoS attacks come from the same malware responsible for last month's disruptions in the US

The malware behind last month's massive internet disruption in the U.S. is targeting Liberia with financially devastating results.

This week, a botnet powered by the Mirai malware has been launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on IP addresses in the African country, according to security researchers.  

These attacks are the same kind that briefly disrupted internet access across the U.S. almost two weeks ago. They work by flooding internet connections with too much traffic, effectively forcing the services offline.

On Thursday, an employee with one Liberian mobile service provider said the attacks were taking a toll.

"The DDoS is killing our business," he said over the phone. "We have a challenge with the DDoS. We are hoping someone can stop it."

The employee declined to have his name published because he was not authorized to speak for his company. The attacks began a few days ago, he said, but not all Liberian internet providers were affected.

"It's killing our revenue. Our business has been targeted frequently," he said.

The attack on Liberia was noticed by security researcher Kevin Beaumont, who on Thursday wrote a post about the Mirai-powered botnet responsible.

This particular Mirai botnet is able to generate more than 500 Gbps of traffic, enough to seriously disrupt systems across Liberia, which already has limited internet infrastructure, he said.

"From monitoring, we can see websites hosted in country going offline during the attacks," Beaumont added. 

Hackers have been creating botnets with the Mirai malware ever since its anonymous creator released the source code on a forum in late September. About 500,000 poorly secured internet devices, including surveillance cameras and DVRs, are estimated to be infected with Mirai. 

Last month's DDoS attack in the U.S. came from 100,000 infected devices, according to DNS service provider Dyn. In addition, variants of the malware have been appearing. 

It's still unclear who is behind these DDoS attacks, but security researchers speculate they may be coming from amateur hackers running DDoS-for-hire services. These services can be bought for a fee to attack targets, such as a video game or website, for extortion purposes.

In the case of Liberia, the attacks could be hackers wanting to try out new denial-of-service techniques, Beaumont said.

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

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

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?