For the past couple of days, many online poker and casino properties have suffered outages. Full Tilt Poker was probably the most visible of these outages, as their web site was inaccessible for a couple of days. As of 5 am EST on Tuesday, their web site is redirecting to www2.fulltiltpoker.com.
It now appears that the reason for their outages over the past couple of days can be attributed to a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack.
According to Wikipedia, a DDoS attack involves "saturating the target (victim) machine with external communications requests, such that it cannot respond to legitimate traffic, or responds so slowly as to be rendered effectively unavailable."
In this case, it appears as though Full Tilt's servers and others in the industry have been saturated by "tons of bogus GET requests" (source link below).
According to the sourced article, the attacks started around February 10th and continued all the way up until February 18th.
There were a large list of targets, including:
Full Tilt Poker, Party Casino, Titan Poker, Virgin Games, CD Poker and Europa Casino. In addition, a number of Russian online gambling sites were targeted, including Pokerlistings.ru.
The extent of the outages for each site varied depending on the ferocity of the attacks and if they had any anti-DDoS attack measures in place. Full Tilt Poker is clearly still having issues while a number of the Russian web properties are still down. I am assuming that Full Tilt's software outages over the past few days are related to these attacks as well. Full Tilt's poker room has crashed numerous times over the past few days, including an embarrassing outage during the final table of the FTOPS main event.
The motive behind the attacks is still unknown. Was there an extortion attempt made? Will there be an extortion attempt made? Or is there some other reason behind the attacks?
Filed Under: Online Poker Rooms