Internet outage in Germany blamed on failed botnet attack – CNET

A failed attempt to hijack consumer routers is being blamed for a series of network outages that left hundreds of thousands of people in Germany without internet service this weekend.

Around 900,000 Deutsche Telekom customers of the German telecommunications giant’s 20 million customers were affected by the outages, which began Sunday and lingered into Monday, the company said in a statement. The attack was designed to quietly recruit the devices for a wider offensive, the second such large-scale attack on internet-connected devices in little more than a month, the company said.

“The attack attempted to infect routers with a malware but failed, which caused crashes or restrictions for 4 [percent] to 5 percent of all routers,” the company said in a statement. “This led to a restricted use of Deutsche Telekom services for affected customers.”

The company said it is rolling out a software update to fix the issue. It also recommended that customers temporarily disconnect their routers from their power source to reboot them free of the malware.

A similar attack occurred in late October, when hackers used what’s known as a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) — conscripting hordes of internet-connected devices like computers, routers and security cameras into a botnet that left dozens of popular websites inaccessible for several hours.

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