The Mirai Botnet crippled major hubs of the internet in October 2016 with a series of distributed denial of service attacks deployed at a speed and volume that security experts had never seen before. The big innovation was using infected “internet of things” devices that consumers and manufacturers routinely fail to secure like home surveillance cameras or web-enabled kitchen appliances.
According to the Justice Department, it was all done in the service of Minecraft. There’s stiff competition in the world of pay-to-play Minecraft servers, and three young hackers, short on morality but long on innovation, turned their skills towards the business of securing Minecraft hosts. What better way to do that than invent the world’s most powerful botnet and unleash it against competing security and server providers? Okay, it may not have turned out the way the creators wanted, but for an upside, it taught the FBI how much money Minecraft can generate.