Over the last decade, the online gaming industry has grown three-fold from $13.8 billion to $41.4 billion in 2015 and become an exceptionally profitable market.
The success of the industry as a whole is in part responsible for another incredible increase: the number of DDoS attacks targeting online gaming websites. In 2014, CDNetworks observed a 29 percent increase in overall DDoS attack frequency with a 64-fold increase in amplification attacks. Nearly 40 percent of these attacks targeted the gaming industry.
DDoS attacks are not just a nuisance; they are both a costly and reputation damaging event. Today’s gamers expect 100 percent uptime and exceptional performance. When a game doesn’t deliver, users often take to social media and other online forums to vent. Even a relatively short DDoS attack (for example, 20-30 minutes) can have a ripple effect on gaming profits and overall standing in the gaming arena.
Let’s take a look at some of the more memorable recent gaming sites crashes that were victims of DDoS attacks over the past year:
Xbox Live and PlayStation crash (Christmas Day 2014)Game consoles are popular gifts for the holidays – and if you are lucky enough to receive one there’s nothing you want to do more than hook it up and play your favorite game.Last year, both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network (and their millions of players worldwide) experienced a nightmare scenario. Both game consoles’ networks were down starting on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) into Christmas Day (Dec. 25) and some after effects on Dec. 26, leaving as many as 160 million users without the ability to connect to the network. The hacker group Lizard Squad took credit for this DDoS attack on Twitter.