Popular Video Game Developer Targeted in a DDoS Attack

 

Blizzard Entertainment, an American video game developer and publisher announced on Monday that they are under a massive DDoS attack which may cause significant delay and disconnections for some gamers. The company assured the gamers that it would not affect their system and that a DDoS attack is ‘basically a clogged pipe on the internet.’ 

However, a Twitter user dismissed the claims of the company by responding that the delay is caused due to poor load balancing on the systems rather than a DDoS attack. His position in the game's queue was 2376, and his turn to enter the game was expected to take 54 minutes.

How does a DDoS attack work? 

A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack occurs when multiple systems flood the bandwidth or resources of a targeted system, usually one or more web servers. A DDoS attack uses more than one unique IP address or machine often from thousands of hosts infected with malware.

A distributed denial of service attack typically involves more than around 3–5 nodes on different networks; fewer nodes may qualify as a DoS attack but is not a DDoS attack. These networks consist of computers and other devices (such as IoT devices) which have been corrupted with malware, allowing them to be controlled remotely by an attacker. These individual devices are referred to as bots (or zombies), and a group of bots is called a botnet.

Blizzard on the hit list of the attackers

Blizzard has dealt with similar issues multiple times throughout the last year and in the early part of this year as well. When gamers attempted to play ‘World of Warcraft’ in January this year, they encountered the same issues with high latency and disconnections. Blizzard seems to have a pattern of attributing connectivity troubles to DDoS attacks. Whether the attacks are real or the result of bad system/network administration, gamers are harmed by these issues. 

Threat actors usually target prominent payment gateways and banks for denial-of-service but in recent times competitive gaming networks are also being targeted due to their popularity. The company is responsible for creating some of the popular games which include Overwatch, Diablo, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, and Warcraft.