Nearly 1 million Germans offline last weekend due to hack attempt
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Nearly one million (roughly 4.5%) of Deutsch Telekom's subscribers were knocked offline most of last weekend, due to what was revealed to be a failed hacking attempt. According to the Federal Office for Information Security, the culprit was the Mirai botnet.
Mirai is software used for orchestrating distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks through infected hardware and is responsible for numerous other attacks around the globe, including a series of attacks that left popular websites offline for hours this October. Because the software is available for free online and is easy to use, almost anyone could be the perpetrator, reports Reuters.
According to a Deutsche Telekom statement, the outage occurred when an attack "tried to infect routers with a malware but failed". They recommended their subscribers unplug their routers from power momentarily to cleanse them of the malware.
German Chancellor Angel Merkel commented on the incident, stating "such attacks are part of everyday life and people have to get used to them," according to Reuters.
Given the availability of DDoS malware and the increased push for "Internet of Things" (IoT) devices, the risk of large-scale effects from such attacks will continue to increase.