The first week of January can feel a little dull after all the excitement of the holidays, and while some people choose to pass the time by getting started on all the video games they got for Christmas, a small handful of individuals are unfortunately expressing their boredom by trying to ruin things for the rest of us.
Gaming services including Steam, Origin, Battle.net and League of Legends have been experiencing outages today and yesterday, and a number of groups or individuals have claimed responsibility for the issues. The sites appear to have been the target of DDoS attacks that have left gamers struggling to log in or engage in online play.
Origin was the first to be hit, according to Polygon, with players left unable to log in on both PC and consoles and a number of multiplayer and online games affected by the outages. A group or person who goes by the Twitter handle 'DerpTrolling' claims to be behind the attacks and has repeatedly mentioned Valve's managing director Gabe Newell as the person to whom the attacks are apparently dedicated. It's a pity they couldn't just write fan mail like a normal person.
Another Twitter user, 'chFthecat', has claimed to be behind the Steam downtime and says that they were acting in retaliation to DERP's attack on Steam, exemplifying the phrase "pot calling the kettle black" by referring to DerpTrolling's activities as "Really f**king retarded." This is unfortunate considering that Steam today held an encore of its holiday sale to give gamers one last chance to get their games at a discount.
DERP has also claimed responsibility for DDoS attacks on Battle.net and League of Legends that led to server downtime. All four sites seem to be working again at the time of publication, but there will likely be calls for EA, Valve and other gaming services to institute better safeguards against future DDoS attacks. The incident will likely also spark further discussion about the challenges associated with online gaming and DRM practices that require a persistent online connection even in single player games.
Tell us in the comments if your gaming has been affected by these attacks.