Irate online gamers including those from the popular World of Warcraft game are taking revenge on rivals by launching cyber attacks to disconnect them, according to Internet Service Provider (ISP) Internode.
Gamers craving vengeance, yet powerless to best their virtual opponents, are using infamous Denial of Service attacks to pound their targets’ Internet link with traffic until it is rendered useless.
The revelation comes after broadband site Whirlpool was attacked by a significant DoS attack originating from the US and Denmark.
The ISP's carrier relations manager, John Lindsay, said overseas gamers are using their faster and larger Internet access links to disable the slower connections of their Australian rivals.
“Someone with a large connection overseas can launch a DoS [attack] on someone with slower connection,” Lindsay said. “An ADSL2+ connection can attack a 1Mbps link. It happens quite often.
“Sometimes they do it to show-off — just because they can. To say ‘my connection is bigger than yours’.”
The ISPs’ security manager, Bruce Hore, said he sees one attack, usually a gamer, about every three weeks.
The ISP, one of Australia’s largest, can terminate DoS attacks easier than others, Hore claimed, because it owns the physical international network links to Europe and America.
That claim was demonstrated this week after the Whirlpool attack was brought under control several hours after it began midnight Tuesday, after Internode and network provider BulletProof isolated the offending IP addresses and terminated access from its international routers.
“We stopped the traffic from even getting on our network,” Hore said.
An Australian Federal Police investigation into the DoS attack is unlikely because of the difficulty in identifying and prosecuting perpetrators.
Lindsay said such DoS attacks are often launched from hired botnets, which are offered on a “hardware license” .