Online gamers could see servers down thanks to internet attacks

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Internet security is one of those responsibilities we’re all aware of, but it’s beginning to go beyond protection of a computer or smartphone, as gamers deal with people keen on making a dent on their fun.

According to a new report from Symantec, hacking services are now being employed to people who want to bring down gamers playing video games as part of either pleasure or competitive gaming, with denial of service attacks bringing down game networks.

You might be enjoying your time with a new game, competing for money in e-sports, or even streaming the games you’re playing to a captive audience, but if there’s a bounty on your head for either of these, the server you’re playing on might now be a target.

“So called “Booter” services can be hired for as little as US$5 to perform DDoS attacks for a few minutes against any target,” said Nick Savvides, Senior Principal Systems Engineer at Symantec.

“Longer attacks can be bought for a few hundred dollars,” he said, and that services like these are often used to take down competitors in gaming events.

“These short DDoS attacks against competing players are becoming very popular,” said the Savvides, adding that “most large online gaming networks have already experienced at least one disruptive DDoS attack against their infrastructure.”

While that can mean gamers engaged in e-sports will have their bread and butter dented, so too are the experiences of people gaming for fun, with servers from Sony and Microsoft also affected by some these attacks in recent months.

Unfortunately, we’re told that there isn’t much a person can do, and while internet security software can help stop security attacks from affecting your computer, it may not stop a server from going down altogether, with much of this happening at the company running the server.

Ultimately, if a server you rely on for multiplayer-only games like “Destiny” goes down, it might be because it’s being targeted, and while you might be cranky, it’s not just you that is, with the company dealing with attack also in the grumpy books as well.