PartyPoker under DDoS attacks


Americas Cardroom (ACR) recently suffered a series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, resulting in an understandable amount of frustration on the part of the players.  DDoS attacks are never fun for anyone – the users, the programmers or a site’s operators and the ACR attack is similar to ones seen by other sites, such as PokerStars and partypoker – even Twitter, Google and Spotify have found themselves targets of DDoS attacks.

A DDoS attack is a dedicated attack against a site’s servers.  It bombards the site with requests, making it nearly impossible for the site to keep up and deliver the requests.  Eventually, the site can either shut down on its own or be taken offline by developers to halt the attack.

It would appear that partypoker is now dealing with its own DDoS headache, as it posted just about an hour and a half ago on Twitter, "Apologies for the technical difficulties, we are working to rectify, the site has been targeted with a DDoS attack from third parties. We hope to resume normal business very soon and will keep you updated. Thank you for your patience."

PokerStars has seen a number of attacks over the years.  Last year, a group was arrested by Europol for allegedly trying to extort money out of the poker site, as well as Betfair and Neteller.  The group, DD4BC, began the attack and then sent an email to the company demanding 20 Bitcoin (at the time worth around $5,000) to halt the attack.  The group was busted and got what they deserved. 

A report a few years ago brought up the idea that the DDoS attacks were actually begun by disgruntled players, mad over losing on the poker sites. or by individuals opposed to online poker (I can’t mention any names but a certain Vegas casino has repeatedly spoken out against online poker).  Since tracing a DDOS origin is virtually impossible, it’s often difficult to determine the source.  However, for just a very little amount of money, individuals can actually pay to have a DDOS attack launched.  For obvious reasons, we won’t discuss the specifics. 

While completely preventing the attacks has always been difficult, enhancements to web technology now facilitate tools that can make them less common, but there is still a chance that they can be seen from time to time.  It’s an unpleasant part of the Internet, but companies, including ACR react well to protect the interests of their customers.  No one lost any money and any funds that had been paid to participate in tournaments was refunded.  Yes, it’s very inconvenient, but sometimes things happen that cause a business to temporarily stop operations – it has even happened to Disneyland and American Airlines.  

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