888poker Hit by DDoS Attack

By in Poker on

It’s another week on the calendar, so that means another Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on an online poker network. This time it is 888poker, one of the last rooms to have gone unvictimized.

888poker was hit by DDoS attacks of varying severity starting September 5th. As these things go, 888 players experienced lag, table freezes, and connections problems. It’s the usual story, the same thing we have seen at the Winning Poker Network on many occasions and very recently, both PartyPoker and Pokerstars.

It’s particularly bad timing for 888poker, as it has its highly anticipated XL Eclipse running September 13th through September 23rd, a tournament series which features 34 events, including a $1 million guaranteed Main Event. Online poker rooms are often attacked during or just before a major tournament series, as these promotions draw lots of players, so the most damage can be done. And most poker rooms hold some sort of big tournament series in the fall, hence the rash of DDoS attacks.

The funny thing is, it’s not like the attackers are getting much of anything out of this aside from satisfaction in committing mischief. In a DDoS attack, the perpetrators take control of computers scattered all over the world and flood a server with communications requests. The server can’t handle the communication overload, which results in hiccups and slowdowns. On top of that, the security measures put in place, while they often do stop DDoS attacks, can’t weed out the bogus communications in the nastiest of attacks, and therefore valid requests get inadvertently blocked. Needless to say, nothing good is happening here.

These aren’t viruses or hacks, though, so the attacker isn’t culling customer information or siphoning funds or anything like that. They are just disrupting the poker games. Sometimes attackers ask for a ransom in order to stop the madness, but I haven’t heard of any poker rooms paying up.

On Monday, 888poker manager Sean McGlashan posted a statement on 888poker’s community forum:

As many of you may already know, we have experienced intermittent disruptions of our service to you due to DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. This has affected our ability to provide you with a comprehensive poker experience.

On behalf of the team, I apologise for the inconvenience caused and want you to know that the entire 888poker Team continues to work diligently to mitigate these attacks. Addressing technical issues, outstanding member concerns and restoring normalcy to our poker room is our top priority.

As you can imagine, our contact volumes are much higher than usual; therefore there may be delays in our responses. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to work to get our service to you.

In addition to online poker rooms, daily fantasy sports leader DraftKings was recently hit by a DDoS attack. DraftKings has fought back and has not just figured out the IP addresses involved in the attacks, but has gotten a judge to allow it subpoena the internet service providers to hand over information on their clients that may have been responsible.

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