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November 9, 2016

US election: Canada immigration site crashes as Trump defeats Clinton

The Mirai botnet targeted US election candidates' websites.

By Alexander Sword

The Canadian immigration website crashed on the night of the US election for President as a Donald Trump victory became increasingly certain.

Visitors to the website were greeted with a 404 error message, indicating that the web service was currently unavailable.

The outage of the website coincided with the result of the US Election becoming increasingly clear, with a possible explanation being that US citizens upset by the result were considering leaving.

At 2 AM GMT, the official Twitter account for the Canadian government tweeted:

“In Canada, immigrants are encouraged to bring their cultural traditions with them and share them with their fellow citizens.”

At the time of writing the website was running again.

In one of the most shocking outcomes in electoral history, new President-elect Donald Trump proved all polls wrong and swept to victory in his race for President against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

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Hillary Clinton lost to Republican rival Donald Trump.

At the time of writing, Trump had taken 276 of the electoral college votes, past the 270 threshold needed to become the US President.

He will be sworn in as President, succeeding incumbent Barack Obama, on 20 January.

The Canadian immigration website was not the only potential web casualty of the last week. The Mirai malware, which has been used to capture Internet of Things devices to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on major targets in recent months, was unleashed on both the Trump and Clinton websites.

The security firm Flashpoint detected the attacks between 6 and 7 November.

However, both sites appeared to remain intact; according to Flashpoint, this is because the Mirai botnet has got weaker.

“Flashpoint assesses with moderate confidence that the Mirai botnet has been fractured into smaller, competing botnets due to the release of its source code, which has led to the proliferation of actors exploiting the botnet’s devices,” Flashpoint’s team wrote in a blog.

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