Video gaming now holds a huge chunk of the entertainment industry. It has transitioned from arcade games that only displayed pixelated figures to multiplayer online games with realistic Prevention Of DDoS Attacks In Gaming Industry graphics. With the rise of multiplayer online games, some people will inevitably try to sabotage it out of malice. That is where DDoS attacks come in.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent DDoS attacks and other issues that come with developing and playing online games. Sangfor Technologies provides AI-driven Network Detection and Response (NDR) solutions that help to identify and resolve a wide range of threats, including DDoS attacks.
Read more about DDoS attacks and some methods used by experts to purge them.
Denial of Service attacks is common in online games. These attacks flood the servers with more data than they could handle, resulting in connection slowdowns. DDoS attacks are often employed to hamper the ability of opponents to play the game properly, allowing one side to have the advantage.
Additionally, some perpetrators aim to shut down a server and deny any player from playing the game. There are several ways that hackers could do this. Some of them are:
The Use Of Bots
Some attackers employ the use of bots, which they log in through different internet-connected devices. An example is using another phone to log in with a different account to add traffic to the server. This is common in MMOs because grinding with multiple accounts is a popular thing, and filling up servers will mitigate any resource competition.
These attacks send fragmented data that the server needs to reassemble for it to recognize. An excellent analogy for this would be cutting up a letter into hundreds of pieces and sending it one-by-one. The recipient would need more time to respond.
SYN flooding essentially gives the server fake IP addresses and makes it wait for responses. These attacks slow down the servers since they will continue to connect with counterfeit addresses consuming their bandwidth.
DDoS attacks are especially lethal to online games because they take away the product’s main selling point—the game itself. If there are constant DoS attacks and the servers are always down, players would not want to play the game.
These attacks could be prevented by limiting the rate of queries sent to the server but doing so can slow down the service or—worse—block out some users entirely.
With that in mind, developers have found three ways to counter DDoS attacks without hampering a legitimate user’s ability to play the game.
Anomalous Behavior Recognition
This method employs average user behavior data and compares it with suspected bots or false connections. If the address being checked deviates from the average users, the system will block or kick the suspicious actors out momentarily to decrease server traffic. An example of this method is kicking idle players from the server once they reach a timer set by the developers.
Distributed Attack Pattern Recognition
This is a reversed version of anomalous behavior recognition. This method will take the regular behavioral patterns of an attack and use them to remove suspected addresses from the server. An analogy for this would be arresting someone wearing a hockey mask over his face and holding a gun before they even attempt to rob a person.
This method checks a list of known attackers or botnets and compares it with the additional connection requests. If there are any matches, the server will automatically block them, like how a wanted poster works.
The three methods above are much more computation-intensive than the simpler traffic reduction methods. However, it is also important to prioritize user experience over just simply mitigating DDoS attacks. Many threat hunting tools address various user concerns, including DDoS attacks. Developers must not compromise the user’s ability to use the service to defend themselves from DoS attacks.