PokerStars Targeted in DDoS Attacks

pokerstars-ddos-attacksPokerStars was recently hit with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. The attacks caused issues for PokerStars’ tournaments and cash games. Many Stars players were frustrated as they were forcibly disconnected from the site.

Making matters worse is that the attacks occurred on Sunday, which is PokerStars’ busiest day of the week. The site holds their Sunday Million tournament on this day, which was disrupted by the technical issues.

Disconnected participants were only able to log in later in the tournament. They found that their chip stacks were being blinded down or even completely gone.

DDoS Attacks are a Growing Problem in Online Poker

One of the players’ points of frustration is that PokerStars didn’t realize the DDoS attacks were happening until about an hour afterward. The world’s largest poker site was quick to apologize afterward.

“Please accept our apologies as we are currently experiencing technical issues,” they tweeted. “We are currently working on it and our services should be restored as soon as possible.”

Stars then paused tournaments across the site and began trying to figure out the issues. These actions caused further problems, though, when players from Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Romania were still connected and collecting other players’ blinds.

PokerStars Cancels Tournaments for the Day

Noticing the widespread problems, Stars eventually cancelled all of their Sunday tournaments while announcing that players would be refunded. The refunds were based on chip counts and how far players made it into the tourneys.

Stars tweeted the following:

“Apologies to all our players for the recent issues on PokerStars. The players affected by this morning’s issues have already been credited & we aim to refund players affected by yesterday’s problems, with their equity at the time of disconnection, within 72 hours.”

DDoS Attacks Becoming a Growing Problem for Online Poker

PokerStars isn’t the only site to be hit with DDoS problems recently. Americas Cardroom and partypoker faced the same dilemma just days earlier.

Cybercriminals who carry out DDoS attacks do so with the intention of disrupting servers with overwhelming traffic. Malicious people who use these attacks are often motivated by revenge and/or seeking a ransom.

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