The source code used in a landmark cyber attack last month has been released on an online forum for hackers, according to Brian Krebs, a security expert at Krebs On Security. This could lead to a massive increase in DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks using the code.
The malware, which is called Mirai, can be used to turn unprotected devices such as routers, webcams and smartphones into ‘bots’ which can then attack websites. According to Krebs On Security, Mirai “spreads to vulnerable devices by continuously scanning the Internet for IoT systems protected by factory default or hard-coded usernames and passwords.”
These devices are then used to flood a target with information requests until they overload and stop functioning. Last month, Mirai was used to bring down Krebs on Security by sending 620 gigabits of data a second – a huge amount and enough to bring down a website.
With the source code now readily available on the internet, it is likely that organisations will experience an increase in the number of Mirai attacks over the coming weeks and months. Millions of devices are currently connected to the internet without sufficient protection, and as such are an easy target for hackers carrying out this kind of attack.
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