DDoS Attack Trends in the Gaming Industry

From historic DDoS attacks against the PlayStation Network to the recent sustained attacks against Blizzard, DDoS attacks have become such a regular occurrence in the gaming industry that it has almost become an accepted part of the culture. Most of the DDoS attacks targeting the gaming industry fall into one of the two categories below. So let’s look at a few commonalities that indicate how and why these attacks occur.

1. DDoS Attacks as a Show of Force

First, there are hacker groups such as Lizard Squad who deploy DDoS attacks as a show of force. With their business of selling DDoS-as-a-service online, they want to establish their DDoS capabilities publicly, and use these attacks as a way of demonstrating their potential. Essentially, this is a form of marketing activity for hackers, and it can also be used as a recruitment tool. Their latest attack on the Blizzard network was most likely an example of such motives in action.

2. DDoS Attacks Launched by Gamers

Secondly, gamers also regularly deploy DDoS attacks as a technique to gain a tactical advantage within a game. It has become an expected part of gaming culture for a player to use DDoS to knock other players offline (some might call it “cheating”), or sometimes to target an entire service to prevent others from gaining a competitive edge.

Final Thoughts

The problem is so prevalent that any gaming company that is unprepared can become a target. Unless a DDoS Protection Solution is in place to handle these attacks, online gaming services are left at the mercy of their customers’ egos and the malicious activity that they seek to unleash.

With DDoS tools becoming increasingly widespread and accessible –DDoS-for-hire services are being leased out for as little as $5 – this problem isn’t going anyway anytime soon. We’d love for the culture to change and for DDoS not to be used in this way, but until that point it’s essential to get the right mitigation service, positioned at the network perimeter, to ensure that the gaming community can continue to operate without being hindered by the malicious activities of a minority.

To learn more about how Corero protects the gaming industry, read the Jagex case study.