Xbox Boss Talks Preventing DDoS Attacks -- "It's a Continued Effort"
"We take it very seriously."
Both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network faced serious DDoS attacks on Christmas Day 2014, leaving the popular online networks significantly limited or completely inaccessible for millions. With the holidays right around the corner, the subject may again be on many gamers' minds. Microsoft has now talked more about last year's service interruption and the steps being taken to hopefully prevent a similar occurrence this year.
"It's certainly something that's concerning for us. We take it very seriously," Nichols said about last year's events in a new interview with GameSpot. "Our obligation to our customers is to deliver not only great games, but a great service behind it. And so, that was a pretty unfortunate situation there. We are doing a lot of work on our own to anticipate different things."
Nichols added that Microsoft's service and infrastructure teams are also working with third-parties--and even other platform-holders--to determine the best way forward. The goal of these discussions, Nichols said, is to "share best practices and discuss how it is that we can do a great job for fans together."
In March 2015, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said Microsoft was holding discussions with competitors Sony and Nintendo about how they can all work together for the good of the industry.
"We do have several things that we are doing to continually improve stability of the service and we'll see what happens" -- Nichols
"I don't think it's great when PSN goes down," Spencer said at the time. "It doesn't help me. All it does is put the fear and distrust from any gamer that's out there, so I look at all of us together as this is our collective opportunity to share what we can about what we're learning and how things are growing. Those conversations happen, which I think is great."
Nichols did not provide specifics about what steps Microsoft is taking this year or what the company has learned from its discussions with other players. He also acknowledged that service could be interrupted if Xbox Live is flooded with users this holiday. Conceivably that's a good problem to have, but it's a problem nonetheless.
"We do have several things that we are doing to continually improve stability of the service and we'll see what happens," he said. "Of course, the challenge...there's kind of a scale challenge and then there's an attack challenge. We try to put measures in place for both of those. But that's something that will be a continued effort for our service team and we have a great set of people who are very committed."
GameSpot's full interview with Nichols also covers the New Xbox One Experience and more.