Andorra Telecom, the only Internet service provider in the tiny European principality, has suffered a series of cyber attacks disrupting Internet access nationwide—and supposedly it's all over a Minecraft tournament. The Twitch Rivals tournament SquidCraft Games over the weekend included a number of players in Andorra, several of whom dropped out after their connections exploded. Trying to blast a whole country offline to ruin a Minecraft tournament sounds like the setup for a bad YA metaverse novel but may be a terrible vision of our future.
The Twitch Rivals: SquidCraft Games tournament saw Spanish-language streamers competiting in a Minecraft mod based on the mega-popular Netflix murdergame series, Squid Game. It had a grand prize of $100,000 (£74k). A number of big-name streamers taking part are in Andorra, including AuronPlay, Rubius, and TheGrefg, and apparently all of Andorra's Internet was slammed by unknown hackers to take them down.
Andorra Telecom tweeted on Sunday that Internet service was down for some customers on Friday and Saturday following a series of distributed denial-of-service attacks aimed at disrupting 'YouTubers'. DDoS attacks overwhelm networks by flooding them with junk traffic from a great many sources, often fuelled by a 'botnet' of virus-infected computers. NetBlocks, an organisation who track Internet disruption, confirmed a huge hit to Andorra's Internet. With only one ISP in Andorra, trying to hit the streamers hit a great many more people.
Auron, who has 11.4 million followers on Twitch, tweeted that the games must continue and so he was out. He expressed a hope that he was the target, and so announcing this would make the hacker(s?) leave his friends alone.
It's unclear if the DDoS attacks were trying to screw with a specific streamer, or to disrupt the event more broadly, or to rig the competition. Considering that this is the Internet, I'd lean towards pettiness.
Auron and Rubius reportedly offered a €10,000 bounty for finding those responsible.