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Dutch police shutdown ‘bulletproof’ hosting company and Mirai botnet operator

Image: Adobe Stock / Connect world

Dutch police have successfully taken down a ‘bulletproof’ hosting company that used servers in an unnamed data centre in Amsterdam. Two of the seized servers were also being used as a control for a version of the Mirai botnet. 

Investigators from the National Criminal Investigation Department in the Netherlands tracked the servers using information from the National Cyber Security Center. After arriving at the data centre, the police took the servers offline and confiscated all the servers associated with the ‘bulletproof’ hosting company. 

Two of the servers taken offline were responsible for controlling thousands of devices that were infected with the Mirai botnet, and made more than one million requests per month to infect more. The network of devices largely consisted of Internet of Things products, including smart thermostats and refrigerators, that were all used to launch DDoS attacks against websites and payments services. 

While one of the simplest cyberattacks, DDoS attacks have the potential to cost firms significant time and money, and due to the proliferation of both insecure IoT devices and the Mirai botnet, have increased in frequency over recent years. 

With the two control servers now offline, the Dutch police have recommended that those with IoT devices consider a simple reset, which should remove all traces of the malware. They are also imploring users to change default passwords in order to prevent being infected by malware in the future. 

In addition to seizing the servers, the Dutch police also managed to collar those responsible for running the botnet. A 24 year-old man from Veendam and a 28 year-old man from Middelburg are now facing numerous charges, including, but not limited to, computer intrusion and spreading malware.

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