Deutsche Telekom has confirmed hackers attempted to hijack its customers’ routers to launch a wider attack on the internet.

The company confirmed yesterday that around 900,000 broadband customers with “certain routers” have been hit by coverage outages.

Deutsche Telekom told German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel that the outages appeared to be linked to a failed attempt by hackers to use the Mirai malware to launch a bigger internet attack by gaining remote control of customers’ routers. 

The German operator said in a statement today: “An attack on maintenance interfaces is currently taking place worldwide. This was also confirmed by the Federal Office for Information Security.

"Following the latest findings, routers of Deutsche Telekom costumers were affected by an attack from outside.”

It added: “The attack attempted to infect routers with a malware but failed which caused crashes or restrictions for four to five percent of all routers.

"This led to a restricted use of Deutsche Telekom services for affected customers. We implemented a series of filter measures to our network.”

Deutsche Telekom said its broadband network remains unaffected.

It has advised customers to disconnect and reboot their routers if they suspect an attack.

An automatic software update is already in place, it said, and is being delivered to affected devices.

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