Distributed denial-of-service attack postpone two major Evil Geniuses Dota matches

DDoS attacks targeting the Evil Geniuses bay area team house stopped both their Dota 2 League and Dream League matches earlier today.

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This article was originally published on GameSpot's sister site onGamers.com, which was dedicated to esports coverage.

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks targeting the Evil Geniuses team house in California brought ended their Dota 2 squad's Dota 2 League and DreamLeague matches today. A Twitter user named DDOSQUAD tweeted at professional StarCraft II player Ben 'DeMusliM' Baker indicating that he was the target of the attack. It would appear that the Dota 2 team being affected was just collateral damage.

DDoS attacks, attacks targeting specific networks in an attempt to stop or limit their connections to the internet, have proven problematic for professional gamers for the last year. Most attacks targeting professional gamers are most often executed through a vulnerability in Skype that allows strangers to get IP address if they have someone's Skype username. Once the people wishing to perpetuate the attack have an IP address, they typically use one of many available purchasable services online that completes the attack for you.

Matthew 'Cyborgmatt' Bailey, an onGamer Senior Editor, was responsible for the network security going into this years The International 3 qualifiers. He explained the issue and it's tendency to continue to occur:

"During the build up to the TI3 qualifiers the DDOS attacks were increasing becoming a big problem to a number of teams. I dedicated large portion of my free time to help protect all of the teams and players in order to ensure that the qualifiers went smooth.

It's sad to say that Skype is still a very poor piece of software in terms of security, although Microsoft have recently tried to plug the exploit that allows people to find user’s IP addresses a new exploit was found in a matter of days and has yet to be fixed.”

There is no real hacking or network security expertise required. All that is needed is a hefty bit of malice, access to a readily available Skype exploit guide, and ten dollars to twenty-five dollars.

The typical solution is for users to proxy their Skype, though this is usually much more labor and cost intensive for the professional players and organizations than it is for those doing the attacking. It's usually around ten dollars for each Skype account that needs to be proxied per month, it takes another ten or fifteen minutes per account to be setup, and then requires everyone on the network to be diligent and proxied at all times or the entire gesture is useless.

Once you've been DDoS'd you need to reset your IP. While managing Evil Geniuses we lost hours because of DDoS attacks and trying to work with, sometimes admittedly not the most technically savvy, professional gamers remotely it can become difficult. Logging into Skype on on a laptop or cell phone can render the entire setup useless. Often times routers and modems are inconsistent with what cycles the network's IP. Internet Service Providers in the United States often times have lackluster customer service which never helps either.

Bailey explained how complicated the situation can become in a progaming house with multiple gamers:

"The EG house is a pretty unique setup due to the fact that they have so many pro-gamers under one house it’s a lot harder to ensure that protections stay in place. If a single person in the house connects to Skype unprotected then it can put the entire connection at risk to attack. That includes using Skype on your mobile which will most definitely not be protected.

With the time that has passed and line-up changes it is most likely the case that these protections I helped setup are no longer in place."

The third and final match from Evil Geniuses match against Na'vi in the D2L has been rescheduled for tomorrow at 21:00 CET / 12:00PM PST. Evil Geniuses' match against Fnatic in DreamLeague is still pending reschedule.

Image Credit: evilgeniuses.gg

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