According to Forbes, last month, the Mirai botnet emerged from the shadows and directed its fury at security expert Brian Krebs.Amazon, Twitter, PayPal, Spotify and other major websites were rendered inaccessible on Friday by the Mirai Bot. Mirai has been uses to knock Liberia’s Internet connection and this is alarming. Based on reports gathered by Tech Habor from Liberia, Internet connection is extremely slow in most parts of the country with unstable and intermittent cuts. Any country in West Africa is a likely target and I hope government agencies are prepared for any of such eventualities.
What is Does the Mirai Bot do?
DDoS distributed denial of service is an unsophisticated form of attack that overwhelms sites with spam traffic so legitimate users can’t get through. DDoS is a war of economics meaning whoever has the most computing power, defender or attacker, usually wins.
More and more websites are being forced to seek shelter behind a shrinking number of powerful DDoS protection providers. But that centralization means that, as potent botnets like Mirai become stronger, larger sections of the internet can be knocked offline during attacks.
This makes DDoS a useful tool for censorship of small and mid-level publishers, but major sites usually have defenses in place and aren’t susceptible to these attacks.
The Question is Why Liberia and why Now?
It’s possible that Liberia is the starting point for a new display of the power. Though it peaked at a comparatively modest 500Gbps, service interruptions were reported throughout the day yesterday. Had the full force of Mirai been directed at Liberia, a prolonged outage was a distinct possibility.
There’s a good chance that neighboring countries could have been impacted, too. That single fiber the African Coast to Europe or ACE cable doesn’t exclusively serve Liberia. It provides connectivity to at least nine other African countries and will eventually serve nearly two dozen.
Taking a good chunk of an entire continent offline could be the next step. Then again, they could have a much bigger target in mind. Given the pace of attacks so far, we may not have a long wait before we find out who Mirai’s next victim will be.