The gaming world has been just about squashed flat before, during and after New Year's Eve, with multiple distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
According to the Guardian, two Twitter users, @chFtheCat and @LARCENY_, have claimed responsibility for attacking the digital gaming service Steam, which was down for over an hour on Friday.
Battle.net, the login system used by World of Warcraft and other games produced by Blizzard, was hit by a similar attack, the news outlet reported.
A parallel set of attacks, launched by an entity that calls itself @DerpTrolling and which defines itself as a group of hackers, involved the DDoSing of scores of gaming servers in the days leading up to Friday's separate attack on Steam, et al.
According to #DramaAlert [YouTube video] - a channel that covers "all the drama" in the gaming world - the gaming servers that were knocked offline included World of Tanks, RuneScape, Battlefield 3 and 4, EverQuest and EverQuest2, Club Penguin, Fifa Soccer 13 and 14, League of Legends, Minecraft, the Sony Playstation Network, Electronic Arts (EA), and even the North Korea's state-run news agency, kcna.kp.
@chFtheCat said in one tweet that the reason s/he/they "hit Steam off" is because @DerpTrolling hit off servers for the EA game service Origin.
The Guardian reports that Origin was on-again, off-again for a period of almost 24 hours as a result of that attack.
The proposed motivations for the Steam attacks are all over the map, with the purported hackers chirping back and forth about more attacks to come and being too broke to afford more botnets to run the attacks.
GameInformer.com reports that PhantomL0rd, whose real name is James Vargas, egged on the DDoSers during the assaults on League of Legends, Dota 2, and other games.
GameInformer's Mike Futter writes:
At one point, Varga is egging on the DDoSers. 'I'll put it this way,' he says. 'If my team is winning, we'll keep going. If my team starts to lose, Derp Bros, take this s*** down!' When DerpTrolling accepts the deal, Varga begins laughing loudly.
An entity identifying itself as DerpTrolling engaged in a conversation with #DramaAlert in which he/she/they said that the group simply attacks sites based on requests from people who tweet suggested targets.
In other words, it's all just a game, and it's all for the lulz.
I have a smidgen of pity for the gamers who were deprived of fun and pleaded with the assault squads to knock it off, "for the love of humanity", but only a smidgen, given the blizzard and frozen pipes I'm dealing with in the real world.
Gamers, are you back up and running? Did this spur you to do something else with your time, like maybe shovel an elderly neighbor out from a blizzard?
Is there a game where you get to shovel out elderly neighbors from blizzards and unfreeze frozen pipes?
I want to play that one!