Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks seem to be happening more and more frequently. As of September 3rd, 11:55 a.m. PST, Battlefield 1's Open Beta was down as the result of an attack by PoodleCorp, a Mr. Robot appreciation group.
Major outages occured on Wednesday and Friday evenings, and have continued through Saturday morning. I was able to get my hands on some playtime late Thursday night, in which you can see me immediately crashing a biplane directly into the ground, balletically dying on hills, and generally struggling with which loadout will automatically make me a better player.
August 31st saw a DDoS attack against Blizzard (PoodleCorp claimed responsibility) with the release of WoW’s new Legion expansion. Overwatch was also affected.
Responses to the DDoS attacks on the Battlefield Forums ranged from mildly annoyed:
“Well if you think about it this IS a beta test giving them a taste of launch day server loads.” -THELANKANCOMRADE
to thought provoking:
“This time it’s different, it’s just some kids who want publicity for their **** product. Have them try and take down a server that’s not already at 99% load capacity LOL. noobs.” -lllSLICKlll
PoodleCorpse seems to at least have considered cashing in on some ad revenue, and for all we know this was a ploy to increase Keemstar’s subscribers and to drive traffic to his Youtube channel.
Jason Schrier’s interview with David Larson, CTO of the cybersecurity firm Corero Network Security, details the ease of execution, necessary software, and method of these attacks. What it doesn’t get at is why.
Just picture it: a thousand computers all using the same DDoS tools to generate countless fake accounts, all flooding the same website or server with thousands of gigabytes of data per second. “It’s tremendously easy,” Larson told me on the phone this afternoon. “Anybody can afford it; anybody can do it.”
So is this then just mischief making? Why the Battlefield 1 Beta and not the Titanfall 2 Tech Test? Do these attacks actually have any measurable effect on pre-orders or purchases? Do companies lose ad revenue? What do you think?