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100,000 UK Homes Lose Internet in Botnet Attack

Tim Maytom

malware virus phoneOver 100,000 people in the UK had access to the internet disrupted during a coordinated cyber-attack that began earlier this week. The attack has also targeted services across Europe, with the total number of consumers affected believed to be around 1m.

The attack was carried out using malware known as the Mirai worm, which is spread via compromised computers, and affected TalkTalk, one of the UK's largest broadband providers, as well as the Post Office and KCom, a Hull-based ISP.

Germany's Deutsche Telekom has confirmed that up to 900,000 of its customers lost access to the internet earlier in the week due to the attack. The Post Office has said that 100,000 customers have experienced problems, while KCom estimated that 10,000 customers have had their service disrupted. TalkTalk has confirmed that its services have been affected, but declined to release figures for how many people lost internet access.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but security experts for both Deutsche Telekom and KCom have said that the incident was part of a worldwide effort.

The Mirai worm targets devices using the Linux operating system, which is rare among home computers but often used on broadband routers, and uses them to knock other services offline.

A similar attack was carried out in October on the US-based web domain provider Dyn, which took a number of online services and websites including Amazon, Netflix and Twitter down using IoT devices.