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How the Mirai botnet changed IoT security and DDoS defense

Last updated:March 2018

Editor's note

The Mirai botnet has affected hundreds of thousands of internet of things (IoT) devices since it first emerged in the fall of 2016. With its original malware and countless spinoffs, Mirai has kept security professionals busy and launched a new era of IoT security threats.

Understanding what happened with Mirai -- and what is still happening -- can go a long way to strengthening distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack defense. This guide is a collection of the most important events and takeaways from the outbreak of the Mirai botnet and its variants.

1The threat doesn't end with Mirai

Hackers have leapt through the window Mirai opened and created spinoffs of the original malware. Different malware instances and botnets used Mirai as a starting point and implemented new functionality to target routers and other IoT devices.

2How the threat of the Mirai botnet got so bad

From the Dyn disruption that took down part of the internet to the botnet attack on the largest telecom company in Germany, here is a look at the early history of the Mirai botnet and how it put the world on notice.

3How to stop the Mirai botnet in its tracks

Since hackers were able to cause such widespread disruption with Mirai, the security industry was forced to develop new tactics and defenses for these massive DDoS attacks. These are the lessons the world has learned and the options available to mitigate the effects of another Mirai botnet.

4Get familiar with the terminology

If you want to understand what happened with the Mirai botnet attacks, get to know the terminology.

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