But why did the number of cyber attacks increase significantly in the third quarter of 2020 and do online gamers fear that their money or personal data will be stolen? The renowned company Nexusguard has specialized in cyber security and now publishes a quarterly report. This showed that in the third quarter of 2020, a total of 76.92% of all registered DDoS attacks relate to the gaming and gambling industry. The increase in cyber attacks in these online industries is explained by the fact that the number of players is continuously increasing. This makes addresses of this kind more attractive for cyber criminals.
Number of DDoS attacks increases by 287%
Nexusguard analysts said that the number of DDoS attacks increased by 287% in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year. The security experts emphasize that the online gaming environment holds numerous targets in store for potential perpetrators – especially now during the pandemic. In the past quarter, 45.18% of the attacks were directed at the online gaming industry. The rest of the attacks were related to online gambling providers.
DDoS attack: In a DDoS attack (= Distributed Denial-of-Service), the aim is to cause a specific Internet service to be unavailable through a specifically induced overload. In the majority of cases, so-called botnets, which consist of a large number of individual systems, are used for implementation.
The gambling industry was and is well prepared
The fact that the gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar market has certainly contributed to the fact that one has prepared in an exemplary manner for cyber attacks. Specifically, the international gaming industry has created special protective devices and a professional infrastructure in order to be able to take effective action against cyber attacks – with success. Should a certain online gaming provider become the target of an attack, the responsible parties have access to a number of domains including VIP domains that cannot be traced. The players do not have to worry that they will lose money while attending a virtual game or that personal data will be transferred to third parties. Despite modern security precautions, 100% protection can of course not be guaranteed.
Gaming Sector: Players attack players
A number of cyber attacks have not only been identified in online gambling. A number of cyber attacks, including many DDoS attacks, were also counted in the gaming sector in the third quarter. The experience of Nexusguard shows that a large proportion of attacks originate from active players themselves. These pursue the goal of slowing down the competition in order to be better off themselves. Since more and more players worldwide have recently accessed the gaming servers, they were so overloaded that they were more susceptible to cyber attacks. According to the analysts from Nexusguard:
Much of the DDoS attacks in online gaming can be traced back to gamers willing to do whatever it takes to win ”.
The gaming servers of Gameservers.com and Nitrado have recently been particularly often affected by cyber attacks. More precisely, both gaming servers counted just over 50,000 attacks in the third quarter.
Cyber attacks on gaming servers in the third quarter of 2020:
- Nitrado: 54,571
- Gameservers.com: 51,815
- Blizzard Entertainment: 13.301
- Electronic Arts: 3,306
- Valve Corporation: 2,701
- Ubisoft Entertainment: 1,889
- Source: Nexusguard, quarterly report (3rd quarter 2020)
The ongoing pandemic situation has favored the development of cyber attacks on online gaming providers and online gaming companies. The cyber security specialist Nexusguard was able to count significantly more cyber attacks in the past quarter than in the same period of the previous year. The majority of the attacks were DDoS attacks. These are considered to be the “simplest” form of cyber attack and the goal is to cause a specific Internet service to become unavailable through a targeted overload. The evaluation shows that the gaming industry in particular is well prepared for this type of attack. In the recent past, a lot of money has been spent on special infrastructure and other protective devices. As a gamer, you basically don’t need to worry about your safety either with the online gambling provider or the gaming provider.