The Mirai botnet explained: How teen scammers and CCTV cameras almost brought down the internet
On October 12, 2016, a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack left much of the internet inaccessible on the U.S. east coast. The attack, which authorities initially feared was the work of a hostile nation-state, was in fact the work of the Mirai botnet.
This attack, which initially had much less grand ambitions — to make a little money off of Minecraft aficionados — grew more powerful than its creators ever dreamed possible. It’s a story of unintended consequences and unexpected security threats, and it says a lot about our modern age. But to understand it, you need a little background.