In the age of competitive online gaming, lags or sudden disconnections can mean the difference between victory and defeat. With cyberattacks increasingly targeting online gaming platforms, it’s crucial for gamers to understand how to prevent DDOS attacks while gaming.
This article will shed light on why these attacks are common in the gaming world, how they function, and the steps gamers can take to safeguard themselves from these disruptions.
DDOS Attacks: A Major Threat to Online Gaming
Online gaming platforms are constantly under the threat of cyberattacks, with denial of service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks being the most common. These attacks can incapacitate thousands of players at a time, creating significant lag or booting them offline entirely.
The Allure of Gamers for Cyberattackers
Gamers make for attractive targets for various reasons. High-spec gaming machines are a valuable resource for crypto-miners, and the massive prize money involved in eSports (the top 10 eSports teams are valued at around $2.4 billion) makes them lucrative targets.
The Ease of Launching DDOS Attacks
DoS/DDoS attacks can be initiated by almost anyone, without the need for extensive programming skills. “DDoS as a Service” attacks can be rented online for as little as $10, making it remarkably easy for someone to disrupt your gaming experience.
Understanding DDOS Attacks: How They Work
DoS attacks work by sending large volumes of junk traffic to a target IP address, overloading it with data. This can either slow the network down or knock it offline entirely.
The Role of Botnets in DDOS Attacks
Botnets, or groups of malware-infected computers and devices, play a crucial role in DDoS attacks. They provide the necessary firepower to initiate these attacks, often without the owner’s knowledge. These botnets can be rented online, thus eliminating the need for specialized knowledge.
Effects of DDOS Attacks on Gamers
When gaming servers fall victim to DDoS attacks, the game becomes unavailable. This can lead to widespread dissatisfaction among the gaming community, considering the vast number of players that popular games attract.
The Various Actors Behind DDOS Attacks
DDoS attacks can be initiated by various actors, each with their own motivations.
Cheaters and Their Role in DDOS Attacks
In the gaming world, DDoS attacks are often used by cheaters to gain a competitive advantage. These attacks can slow down opponents or completely block their access to the game. Game studios have been forced to ban players who use DDoS attacks for cheating.
The Threat From Nation-State Actors
DDoS attacks aren’t just about cheating or making money. Nation-state actors have been known to target the gaming community and distributors to launch larger supply chain attacks.
Trolls and Their Impact on Gaming
With the stakes so high, attackers have shifted from massive volumetric attacks to more sophisticated network crashes. These attacks create maximum disruption for gamers and put immense pressure on gaming platforms and network providers.
Can You Be a Victim of a DDOS Attack?
In short, the answer is yes. Anyone can fall victim to a DDoS attack. Individual gamers are particularly vulnerable if their IP address is known to the attacker.
Steps to Take If You Suspect a DDOS Attack
If you suspect that you’re a victim of a DDoS attack, you should first rule out issues with your home network or ISP. Here are a few steps you can take:
- Unplug your router and turn off your computer/console.
- Wait for about five to ten minutes before restarting.
- If the problem persists, contact your service provider.
How to Prevent DDOS Attacks While Gaming
While you can’t do much if your service provider or platform is attacked, there are a few measures you can take to protect yourself from targeted DoS attacks:
- Keep your IP hidden: This is crucial in preventing targeted DoS attacks.
- Reset your IP address regularly: This can keep potential attackers guessing.
- Avoid clicking on external links in chat: These could expose your IP address or install malware on your system.
- Use a VPN: This can hide your IP address and add an extra layer of security.
- Upgrade your home network: Ensure your hardware is up-to-date and secure.
- Update your Security Software: Make sure your antivirus and security software is up-to-date and active.
Staying secure while gaming is not just about protecting your own experience, but also about contributing to a safer gaming environment for all. By understanding how DDoS attacks work and taking the necessary precautions, you can enjoy a smoother, uninterrupted gaming experience.
Protect your gaming experience from DDOS attacks by understanding how these attacks work and taking necessary precautions.