Computer Crime Research Center


Hackers using DDoS attacks against Xbox Live rivals

Date: February 22, 2009

bone up on your Halo skills, or just cough up anywhere from $20 to $100 to boot "KiLLer" — or any other player — out of the game whenever you want, with a little help from an underground hacking tool. Talk about lame.

The BBC and Daily Tech report that there's been a recent increase in "denial of service" attacks—that is, an overwhelming flood of traffic from a network of hijacked PCs (or "botnets') toward a specific IP address, typically used to temporarily knock a targeted site off the Web—against individual players in Xbox Live matches.

DDoS attacks against other gamers are nothing new, apparently, but Xbox Live gamers in general—and Halo 3 gamers in particular (not surprising, given that Halo 3 is one of the most popular games on Live)—are increasingly the most common victims, the BBC notes.

What's interesting about the attacks—which simply boot the targeted player out of a multiplayer Live match—is that hackers aren't targeting the Live network itself, according to the BBC. Instead, they focus on individual players and their Net-connected Xbox 360 consoles.

Of course, you'd need your intended victim's IP address to direct the DNS attack—and for that, hackers have developed various ways to get the right address, the BBC reports. Methods range from packet-sniffing software to good, old-fashioned social engineering. ("Hey, dude, want 10,000 achievement points? What's your IP address?")

OK, so where does the $20 tool come into play? Well, apparently there's at least a couple of underground utilities in circulation that'll do the trick, according to FaceTime Security Labs, not to mention plenty of scruple-free hackers willing to lease time on their respective botnets.
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