Malicious cyberattacks against online gaming sites have increased in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a third-quarter threat report from distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation specialists NexusGuard.
According to the study, both online real money and free play / virtual currency gambling operators fell victim to DDoS attacks, due to their popularity during the third quarter.
Figures from NexusGuard show that online gambling suffered 45.2% of all DDoS attacks during the period ending September 30. Compared to online gambling that reached 31.7% of these attacks.
Other sectors outside the game, such as government, business, educational institutions and finance, were less attacked.
The report’s conclusions indicate that the total number of attacks is very high, representing an increase of 287% compared to the third quarter of last year. Although it was lower by 51.3% in relation to the attacks registered during the second quarter when the pandemic blocks were more drastic.
Although the report indicates that online gaming operations have systems powerful enough to withstand these DDoS attacks, the same is not the case for online gaming equipment. On the other hand, online gaming platforms are “extremely sensitive to latency and availability issues.”
The attacks don’t just come from organized hackers who use these methods to extort money from platforms. According to the report there are online players dedicated to this practice also of renting DDOS services to beat up rival players.
According to the report, the French company Ubisoft saw an unusual increase in these attacks last january against its game Rainbow Six Siege by players attacking their rivals.
Attacks continue to affect the online gambling industry with 41.5% of multi-vector attacks. In addition, about 73% of the DDoS attacks recorded during the third quarter lasted less than 90 minutes. Only 1.25% of the attacks were greater than 1,200 minutes, except for a very persistent attack that lasted 34,551 minutes.
China, which has been persecuting international operators that target Chinese players, was the main source of these attacks. In the third quarter, around 32% of all these attacks were registered. The other country was Turkey with 13.9% and the United States (13.75%). Other regions where DDoS attacks were launched were Asia and the Pacific.