Games company Blizzard has reported on Twitter that: “We are currently monitoring a DDOS attack against network providers which is affecting latency/connections to our games.” World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Hearthstone and other game servers are believed to have been hit.
At about 5pm last night Blizzard noticed Down Detector – which monitors online outages -logging a huge upsurge of problems and 2800+ reports for Overwatch, World of Warcraft and several other Blizzard gaming services.
Commenting on the way that even failure to bring a service down completely has a severe impact on online games, Igal Zeifman, director at Imperva Incapsula said in an email to SC: “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.”