News broke on Sunday afternoon that Blizzard experienced performance issues with its games and the service formerly known as Battle.net were caused by distributed-denial of service (DDoS) attacks. IT security experts from Corero Network Security and Imperva Incapsula commented below.
Stephanie Weagle, VP at Corero Network Security:
“The impact of DDoS attacks can be incredibly costly when systems, applications or platforms fall victim to attack as such interruption can result in loss of customer loyalty and brand reputation. The online gaming industry, in particular, is highly susceptible to this type of cyber threat, due to their highly transactional environment, and the need for 24×7 availability. Real-time detection and mitigation of DDoS attacks eliminate the costly downtime associated with this evolving threat. Relying on traditional infrastructure or even cloud based DDoS defense services is simply too slow and ultimately ineffective in keeping service interruptions at bay for the millions of players accessing these online gaming sites.”
Igal Zeifman, Director at Imperva Incapsula:
“Competitive online games are an attractive target for any DDoS offender looking to create large-scale mayhem in hope of some Internet notoriety. Moreover, such gaming networks are also particularly vulnerable to denial of service assaults because, unlike many other targets, they don’t need to be taken offline to become unusable.
“In the case of a real-time online game, even a small amount of latency–as a result of a technically “failed” attacks–is enough to cause major disruption to gamers looking for a completely responsive and immersive experience. This is exactly what is happening in this case. Even if some users are able to log in, the latency they experience still makes Overwatch unplayable.”