The African nation of Liberia is suffering major web communications problems after its services apparently came under attack from the Mirai botnet.
The Guardian reported on the incident, quoting security expert and Mirai monitor Kevin Beaumont as saying: "We're seeing attacks over 600Gbps aimed at two companies which co-own the only fibre going into [Liberia]. The attacks are among the most amount of traffic the internet has seen."
Beaumont explained more in a blog post, noting that a version called Mirai14 is being used against the country.
"Over the past week we've seen continued short duration attacks on infrastructure in Liberia. Liberia has one internet cable, installed in 2011, which provides a single point of failure for internet access," he said.
"From monitoring we can see websites hosted in the country going offline during the attacks . Additionally, a source in the country at a telco has confirmed to a journalist they are seeing intermittent internet connectivity, at times which directly match the attack.
"The attacks are extremely worrying because they suggest a Mirai operator who has enough capacity to seriously affect systems in a nation state."
Beaumont added that the botnet is also being used to attack the company helping him to monitor the traffic, an outfit called Malwaretech.com. This is confirmed by a Twitter account run by the firm called @Miraiattacks.
Botnet #14 - DNS flood for 1 seconds— Mirai Attacks (@MiraiAttacks) November 2, 2016
Mark James, security specialist at ESET, said: "We will see an increase in DDoS activity whilst default passwords are left on devices.
"It is imperative these days that the second thing you do after unboxing is change that password (and username if possible). Complex and unique is great but honestly anything is better than the default.
"Protecting against this type of attack is very manageable and with help can limit the damage caused.
"DDoS is often viewed as affecting only large organisations, but anyone can be susceptible to this type of attack and you should factor it in when looking at your overall defences."
The problem of DDoS botnets hit the headlines in a big way last month when DNS provider Dyn suffered at the hands of Mirai, underlining the risks that the botnet poses.
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