Holiday DDoS Attacks: Targeting gamers

While distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks happen throughout the year, some of the highest profile attacks occur during the holidays, when the most users will be impacted. Attackers may target online shopping sites to disrupt pre-holiday gift buying. Or they may attack voice over IP services, like Skype, which are used to talk to family members over the holidays. But gaming networks are most often targeted by DDoS attacks, as the end of year holidays usually bring many users online who are eager to try out their new games and systems. In December 2014 and 2015, both Sony’s PlayStation Network and Microsoft’s Xbox Live gaming networks experienced outages as a result of DDoS attacks, leaving users unable to access or play their games online.

Five actions to protect your devices from becoming bots:

  1. Create and use strong passwords for all your devices. Do not use the default. This is especially important for smart devices, routers, and other devices with which you may not interact directly.

  2. Update your devices! Software is often patched to remove known vulnerabilities, greatly strengthening your defenses.

  3. Monitor your devices. If a device is acting strangely, investigate it. One example is bounced email messages. If email messages are not reaching their destination, your device could be infected and sending spam as a part of a botnet.

  4. Run anti-virus scans and use other security tools to find and remove malicious software.

Be careful to avoid infecting your devices. Avoid opening suspicious emails, attachments, or risky websites. Some anti-malware services include website security checks.


By Rob Booth - LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rob-booth-2193982/