Sunday 26 October 2014

Weekend of gaming hell as DDOS attacks disrupt major gaming networks

Published 25/08/2014 | 15:37

Hacker typing on a laptop
Hacker typing on a laptop

Three of the largest gaming networks in the world suffered disruptions to service as DDOS attacks were launched against the services.

Playstation Network, Riot's League of Legends and Blizzard's Battle.net were all the subject of Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDOS) attacks over the weekend.

Battle.net, servicing such games as World of Warcraft and Hearthstone, was attacked early on Sunday morning. By 7am, Blizzard were reporting a resolution to the problems, only for a new wave of attacks to further disrupt the service. Blizzard announced a further resolution at 10am. While this attack may have had little impact on European players, it occurred during a peak time for the American market.

Riot admitted to weeks of DDOS attacks on their servers, addressing the issue in this thread.

Sony's Playstation Network was the latest service to be disrupted, with a resolution coming late on Sunday.

Sony released the following statement:

"Like other major networks around the world, the PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network have been impacted by an attempt to overwhelm our network with artificially high traffic.
Although this has impacted your ability to access our network and enjoy our services, no personal information has been accessed.
We will continue to work towards fixing this issue and hope to have our services up and running as soon as possible.
We regret any inconvenience this may have caused."

It's important to note that these attacks are not hacks and no customer information has been stolen. A DDOS attack is when a large number of automated bots make requests to a service, essentially overloading the servers by flooding them with work.

This weekend's attacks are allegedly part of an on-going campaign against game networks, with EVE Online and Guild Wars 2 servers also suffering DDOS attacks over the past weeks.

Credit for the attacks is being claimed by the Twitter user @LizardSquad. LizardSquad's twitter account has also implied some involvement in the redirection of Sony Entertainment President, John Smedley's flight, following bomb threats.

If @LizardSquad  are genuinely behind the attacks, their pro ISIS tweets and jihad rhetoric could go towards explaining the predominantly North American player base affected.

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