Attack takes out internet in Liberia

Next on the list of major internet attacks is the taking down of internet access for a nation state (kudos to Kevin Beaumont for noticing). While Liberia doesn’t have a particularly large population of internet users compared to high-profile targets such as the US (Liberia has ~180k internet users, Rochester (city only, not greater area) has a population of ~210k people), the attack is worrying nonetheless.

It appears that the attack was done by the Mirai botnet (the Mirai exploit toolkit was released recently; the botner largely composed of Internet of Things devices), and reached ~500Gbps. While attacks lasted only for a short time, the number is frightening nonetheless. The attack targeted internet infrastructure, namely the undersea cable that Liberia shares with West Africa. Unlike countries such as the US, Liberia only has one cable, making it vulnerable to this attack, whereas in places such as the US the system would automatically reroute you .

What’s frightening about this attack is that it appears to be done by someone with some actual abilities. The attack appears to be the operator testing their abilities. Should this person decide to fully employ their abilities, the result could cause a sizable outage, even in the US.

On a lighter note, the operator noticed the monitoring of and Kevin Beaumont, and sent messages via the Twitter bot that monitors the Mirai botnet:



Author: Christian Martin