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Strange Mirai botnet brew blamed for powerful application layer attack

Varmints cooked up variant after malware code went public

By John Leyden, 29 Mar 2017

Hackers have created a potent new variant of the Mirai IoT malware.

The latest variant is capable of launching application layer attacks rather than simply flooding targeted sites with junk traffic. The new botnet has already been used to hit a US college with a two-day-long attack late last month, DDoS mitigation outfit Imperva Incapsula reports.

The public availability of the Mirai source code has led to hackers to experiment with different variants of the malware over recent months. The latest variant is far from the first such variant but is nonetheless noteworthy because of its potency.

The original Mirai botnet infamously made numerous high-profile websites inaccessible as a result of an attack on DNS provider Dyn last October. Web connected DVRs, CCTVs and routers and other IoT devices were hacked by malicious code that took advantage of default passwords to create a powerful attack platform.

Last December, another Mirai variant exploited a TR-069 network router protocol vulnerability to infect home routers. ®

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