The gamer community got a nasty surprise last weekend. Web application security specialists reported that, on Saturday morning, US users of the online game World of Warcraft Classic began reporting multiple service failures; hours later, Blizzard Entertainment confirmed that the platform was under a denial of service (DDoS) attack.
“We can confirm that the reported flaws are due to a DDoS attack; we’re working to fix the inconveniences and restore normal game operation,” the company said via a statement.
Hundreds of users began searching for information related to attacks against World of Warcraft on various forums for hackers and gamers until, a few hours later, the information appeared. According to web application security experts, through a Twitter account called UkDrillas, a supposed hacker group claimed responsibility for the DDoS attacks, even warned about the attacks shortly before the connection problems began. “In approximately 30 minutes all servers that power World of Warcraft PvP online will be attacked,” mentions one of the tweets on this account.
In addition, the operators of this Twitter account claimed that this would not be the only incident, as a new DDoS attack had already been scheduled for Saturday at 6:00 PM, Eastern US time. So far the company has not confirmed the veracity of these tweets, mention the web application security specialists.
Due to the incident, the company’s forums were infested with user feedback angered by the inability to access the platform, and it had been more than two hours since the problems began in World of Warcraft and Blizzard had not yet mentioned any details. It was also not known when the game’s servers would be restored.
Around 3 p.m. on Saturday, the company reissued an update mentioning that some services were still disconnected due to attacks: “A significant portion of our users in the US continue to experience failures in the service, we thank you in advance for your patience.”
Finally, around 20:30 on Saturday, the company confirmed that the intrusion ended and the servers had already been restored. “All World of Warcraft features are back online; the problems could continue for some players,” Blizzard’s message mentions.
According to web application security specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) online video game platforms have become one of the main targets of DDoS attacks; malicious users may even hire these classes of services online. Last year, the FBI shut down dozens of websites that offered DDoS attacks for hire against individuals and companies.