Blizzard games hit with late-night DDoS attack

Several Blizzard games suffered outages last night due to a distributed denial of service or DDoS attack. As reported by Dot Esports, players attempting to log in to Battle.net and play Overwatch, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft were unable to find matches or connect with their friends. The attack was first reported around 10:15 PM EST last night as increased latency and connection issues in Overwatch, where some frustrated players were getting disconnected from competitive matches and suffering leaver penalties. Blizzard technical support officially declared the presence of a DDoS attack around 11 PM, and it lasted until about 3 AM this morning. It’s not yet clear who was behind the attack.

After Overwatch players continued to disconnect from ranked matches, frustrated users poured into Blizzard’s forums to complain about the issues. Queue times were extended, players were randomly disconnecting from matches, and few could log into Battle.net. I experienced this firsthand, as a friend and I tried to play Overwatch around 11 PM and were unable to see anyone on our Battle.net friends list or even get into a match.

After Hearthstone and World of Warcraft players began reporting similar issues, Blizzard put a maintenance alert statement on Battle.net that read, “We are currently experiencing a DDoS attack, which may result in high latency and disconnections for some players. We are actively working to mitigate this issue.” All Blizzard games were reportedly affected by the DDoS as well as some of their websites, including the Blizzard Gear store and support site. According to a tech support intermediary on the Blizzard forums, latency reports didn’t slow down until after 2 AM EST.

This isn’t the first time Blizzard has been the victim of a DDoS attack. A few years ago, an individual behind a DDoS of World of Warcraft Classic was arrested. As recently as November 24, Battle.net was the subject of a different DDoS that prevented players from logging in and accessing the launcher’s features.

The Overwatch developer has been mired in scandal for most of this year as its employees accuse high-profile executives and developers of sexual harassment and discrimination. It’s unclear whether last night’s DDoS is related.

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