Battlefield 1 Beta Brought Down By DDoS Attack

The beta of Battlefield 1 [official site] was shut down on its first day by a group pummeling EA’s servers with a denial of service attack. And if you hopped off to play some Overwatch or WoW instead, you might have encountered an identical problem, because the same group has been attacking Blizzard’s servers as well. It is as if a dozen gaming forums losing millions of passwords recently in a separate hack was not bad enough.

The Battlefield 1 beta launched yesterday but within hours players were unable to join servers or find a game through matchmaking. We had the same problem when we tried last night, getting in just two matches amid a flurry of error messages and disconnections. EA didn’t acknowledge an attack but did admit that they were having problems. Meanwhile, the hacking group PoodleCorp claimed they were responsible.

The group has also been attacking the Blizzard servers, bringing lag and disconnections to players of Overwatch and World of Warcraft – all on the same day the MMO’s sixth expansion, Legion, was launched. Those issues have since been resolved, say Blizzard. Likewise, the Battlefield 1 servers look a lot healthier today.

The hacks are reminiscent of Lizard Squad, a hacking group that previously attacked Sony, Microsoft, Valve and others using the same method, most famously on Christmas Day in 2014, disrupting online games and forcing millions to spend time with their families. It’s not known if any more bombardments are planned, but this probably isn’t the last we’ve seen of the group. If all continues going smoothly, we’ll be able to bring you our impressions of Battlefield 1 multiplayer soon. Or, if you’re very impatient, you can try it yourself on Origin.


  1. Thurgret says:

    Why do people do these things? Serious question without any reasonable answer, I guess.

    • Keios says:

      Because there are a lot of angry children out there who find their pleasure in denying fun to others because it gives them a tiny feeling of power in their otherwise unfulfilled and impotent lives would be my guess.

    • JonClaw says:

      A combination of narcissism and sociopathy, IMO.

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      Drib says:

      I was wondering that myself. Did they have an agenda other than just “lol cuz we can”?

    • aepervius says:

      Rather than children as the previous poster said, my bet is on money. DDOSing something as big as Blizzard is not easy pie and if it was a simple amount of IP they could hard block them. Most probably those are server/resident PC which were hijacked a way or another then mis used in the DDOS. In such case it is not your teen or angry adult which do that on the side. Thus I tip on people doing it for money.

      My bet is that down the line somebody contact EA/Blizzard and tell them the problem can get away with a few thousand BT deposited in a certain wallet (or similarly hardly traceable currency). Or some people in some country get awarded sub contract they would not have normally. And the “poodle squad” suddenly stops DDOSing Blizzard.

      • Sleepy Will says:

        DDOS’sing an online title on launch is no real achievement – they set up servers for average load, but launch is always peak, they virtually DDOS themselves by not providing enough capacity for the legitimate players

      • Xiyng says:

        As far as I know, DDoS’ing anything is pretty easy in general. Protecting againts DDoS attacks is pretty difficult, and you can rarely have enough server capacity to simply withstand it without reacting at all. Not only that, but this was at launch, which is especially bad for servers.

        Also, as far as I know, you can simply buy machines to use in a DDoS attack. There’s probably people that hack the machines somehow, but instead of using them themselves, they sell them to whoever is interested in them.

        Disclaimer: I probably have a lot more knowledge in computer security than the average user or even gamer, but I’m no expert. What I said reflects what I think I’ve read before, but feel free to correct me if I said something incorrect.

      • gunny1993 says:

        Super highly unlikely, paying them would be the worst thing you could possibly do, for the same reason governments don’t pay ransoms for kidnap victims.

        Turns out if you establish a pattern of paying people whenever they attack you, you end up incentivizing others to do the same.

        • Baines says:

          Governments do sometimes pay ransoms for kidnap victims. They just try to keep it secret, as it can be a PR nightmare when it becomes public.

          Corporations do it as well, some more publicly than others. Dole and Chiquita, for example, have both faced lawsuits charging them with sponsoring terrorist groups. Allegedly both companies paid money to Colombia guerillas for over a decade in order to protect their employees from kidnappings and murder. Chiquita admitted to paying the fees, but described it as an extortion that they were forced to pay. Dole simply continued to claim that they never paid anyone protection money.

          *(Some of the former leaders of those guerilla groups have made much different claims. Not only have they said that Dole and Chiquita both paid their organizations, more than one went on to say that both companies paid their organizations to eliminate troublesome people like union leaders or people trying to reclaim land that the companies had taken, to actively terrorize company employees in order to suppress labor unions, and to fight other organizations.)

      • Molay says:

        Possibly someone wanting to sell a well established botnet, and is now making a public demo of it’s effectiveness. Or at least that’s what seems most likely to me.

    • Baines says:

      Lizard Squad’s 2014 DDOS attack was allegedly done as advertising, with the group planning to turn their DDOS bot net into a subscription service. The plan was that for a monthly fee, anyone would be able to launch DDOS attacks on the targets of their choice. The total duration of attacks you could launch per month was determined by how much you paid.

      The other part of the Lizard Squad story was that several members were set to make a hefty chunk of money off of the deal that Kim Dotcom brokered to call off the initial Christmas attack. Dotcom was willing to give them 3000 lifetime accounts to his Mega uploading service. (A one-year account cost around $100. They probably could have made a small fortune off of selling lifetime accounts.)

      I say “were set to make” because there is a decent chance the account vouchers were soon terminated. Dotcom was attempting to buy permanent protection, and included the condition that the vouchers would be terminated if Lizard Squad attacked PSN or Xbox Live again. The thing is, Lizard Squad was apparently a pretty fractured group. While the attack was halted when Dotcom gave Lizard Squad members the voucher links, the attack was soon resumed with a different group of people who also claimed to be part of Lizard Squad (that Dotcom hadn’t negotiated with) claiming responsibility. Presumably, Dotcom would have terminated the vouchers at that point. But it does show that you can use DDOS attacks to make money.

    • MrLoque says:

      Same as “why do people steal, kidnap, kill, etc…”.

      There are evil people everywhere.

    • fooogooo says:

      This DDOS attack was a marketing campaign. The group behind this attack claimed the attack then promoted it DDoS service.

      ( Yes, DaaS DDoS as a Service … )

  2. JonClaw says:

    Why did you name them? This just makes them want to do it more…

    • DanMan says:

      True. It doesn’t matter who did it. Stahp eet!!

    • Tetrode says:

      Yeah shitty move naming the group. All they want is attention and RPS just gave them it. By all means say the servers have been affected but don’t play right into their hands.

  3. aircool says:

    Aren’t these the same idiots who attacked Overwatch servers because they couldn’t buy the summer games outfits with in game currency?

    • Ravenine says:

      They’ve crashed multiple things, and repeatedly. From famous streamers, to big-number games like WoW and Overwatch. For the lulz, I think. They have an official Twitter account and a website where they keep score.

  4. ROMhack2 says:


    Well, by ‘good’, I mean I don’t really care BUT I’m choosing to see this is karmic retribution for how shit-tastic YouTube comments on any WW1 documentary have been since the game was announced.

  5. Hedgeclipper says:

    You’d have thought they’d be ready for the digital Hun going over the top and invading Belgium.

  6. Creeping Death says:

    Have they hit it again? Another evening and again I’ve been completely unable to connect. It worked fine in the morning so I guess it is possible that genuine demand for the beta is hitting them hard but… yeah, wouldn’t surprise me if people were being shits again.

  7. yogibbear says:

    If I met someone in a pub that said they were from this group or any group that participates in this crap I would kick them in the dick/vag.

  8. GemFire81 says:

    After Dice scammed me into buying that pile of crap Star Wars game. NO THANKS. Its disgusting how horrible that game was. 60 bucks and I could not play that game for more than 10 or 15 minutes at once.

  9. Missing Cat says:

    Since this is EA… isn’t it “slightly” more likely that a DDoS attack on the “poor EA victims” is yet another publicity stunt / convenient pack of the usual EA lies covering up some server error? PoodleCorp is probably a shell marketing team working for EA. Good luck to them I say, since the real scumbags are those of you who still *buy* EA games, knowingly and happily funding the gold standard of douchebag corporations.

  10. TomA says:

    Security for EA is terrible. I once lost my account to someone in Kazakhstan. To get my account (they didn’t know my password or security pin) they messaged an EA representative through origin asking for the account to be bound to their e-mail and not mine and for the password to be reset, they just did for them haha.

  11. lglethal says:

    “forcing millions to spend time with their families.”

    The bastards! They should be hung, drawn and quartered for this crime against humanity!