Hackers always go for the most attractive opportunities, which explains why they always target remote work infrastructure. As COVID-19 drove work away from the office, businesses faced one cyber attack after another. More and more people are taking up virtual entertainment -which means that there is an increase in players from the online gaming industry. This has led to a rise in DDoS attacks.
Cybercrime groups are running multi-tiered attacks that combine DDoS with both ransomware and data theft. Meanwhile, gamers can easily rent a botnet to cheat in competitions or disrupt them with a DDoS attack. The hugely popular Titanfall 2 game has already been rendered virtually unplayable, perhaps by as few as one or two individual players, and it now seems abandoned by the publisher who is instead focusing on defending a newer title from similar attacks.
The escalating cyber-attack activity poses an urgent challenge for the gaming industry. For example, e-gaming providers need to beef up their defenses. The level of DDoS protection is increasing rapidly to keep its product playable. Otherwise its products may lose popularity with their fans and that would lead to a drop in profit. For business owners looking for DDoS protection, Providers of gaming applications might need to consider how much protection are they providing for their tenants. This also depends on what level of service availability and protection against DDoS attacks the customers needs.
The gaming industry has had its share of bad press lately
Although DDoS attack activity is up, the gaming industry has been dealing with these cyber-attacks for many years. As long as 2016, a teenager used a variant of the Mirai botnet to launch a DDoS attack against Sony PlayStation costing them millions of dollars in repairs. Hacking and cheating is becoming more common in the gaming industry, some examples being when a player cheats to win or when cybercriminals hack valuable information. Either way, the results of these attacks can be felt by many people. The Titanfall 2 servers were subject to continuous DDoS attacks and were brought down, making the game unplayable.
With the relatively low cost and ease of organizing a DDoS attack, it is a scary tactic that many unscrupulous players are using. The intention is to make the target’s game experience slow or unplayable and give them an unfair advantage. Pro esports teams can be competing for tens of millions of dollars in prize money, which means that there can be a lot more than bragging rights on the line. Respawn, Activision, and Ubisoft have all banned gamers who use DDoS attacks for cheating in their games. While Ubisoft has taken legal measures to shut down four DISIS-for-hire services responsible for launching an attack on their game servers.
Beyond just everyday gamers, game publishers have become the target of cybercriminals. Not only have other industries like financial services and government been targeted, but so has gaming. Those industries have a high importance on keeping systems up and running, so attackers do as well. They manage to capitalize on that through getting sensitive information or taking control of critical systems. Uptime can be as vital to the gaming industry as it is to any other type of business. Consider how important it is for customers to have continuous access and also how much they invest themselves into your offerings. Online gaming platforms are uniquely sensitive to latency and availability issues, making them a prime target for extortionate schemes such as a ransom-related DDoS attack.
The easiest way to have a smooth, high-quality gaming experience is by using our state of the art DDoS protection.
When every millisecond counts, reactive measures against a DDoS attack in the gaming industry are not enough. When a DDoS attack is detected, legacy protection solutions deployed by gaming platform members or the data center providers they work with often respond by restricting traffic to prevent the targeted system from being overloaded—sidelining legitimate players in the process. Hackers can often do their damage before we even realize there has been a breach. This is because they will exploit more than one vulnerability in the hope we don’t spot them all at once. It’s important to invest in advanced security technologies like machine learning to proactively identify threats and stay ahead of hackers.
Rather than waiting for a cyber-attack to happen, game platform operators and their hosting partners should take proactive measures to prevent them. Organizations should use the Zero Trust security model. With this, they should not automatically trust anything inside or outside of the network perimeter. Certain security measures are highly recommended before having the operator enter their password. But in order to protect players from going rogue and hurting your company, it is necessary to monitor them at anytime. At the same time, continuous, real-time validation of performance can’t be allowed to compromise the gameplay experience.
The gaming industry can provide insights for how to best protect your business from DDoS attacks. For instance, leveraging threat intelligence will reduce the risk of IP addresses that house DDOS weapons being used against you, also enforcing authentication, ensuring unwanted or unusual behavior isn’t permitted, and being able to verify time-sensitive watermarks on every packet. This way you’re protected with the latest zero-day attack pattern recognition.
The gaming industry has thrived by creating immersive experiences for gamers. The best way to protect yourself from DDoS attacks is to take a zero trust-based approach. That way, you will have protection from cheaters and cybercriminals.