League Business Tuesdays: Protect yourself from DDoS
by Alan LaFleur June 29, 2012 @ 04:06pm
These attacks have been plaguing the League of Legends professional scene for the past few months. DDoS attacks have happened regularly to NintendudeX, the jungler for Team Dynamic, and usually results in him not being able to play in online matches.
This past weekend during the TSM NA Weekly Invitational, we saw the worst attack yet. The attack happened in round one between TSM.evo and mTw(NA) when in game 2 the bottom lane of Evo disconnected and could not get back into game. The attack forced TSM.evo to forfeit the match and the rest of the tournament. The attackers weren't done just yet. They attacked mTw in their critical game 3 versus Team Dynamic (a team that is no stranger to DDoS attacks themselves).
While DDoS is becoming common place on the internet, prevention isn't. When the player's livelihood is compromised because of these attacks; it effects the revenue the player can generate which is how the player survives and brings the fans the epic matches that they love to watch. Its hard for you to stay competitive with no income, or a way to even play in the game while under attack, so do what you can to protect yourself.
There are a number of ways to help prevent DDoS attacks. The most obvious is to get off of Skype and use Teamspeak, Ventrilo, Mumble, or Raidcall. However, I imagine most people don't want to stop using Skype because it is how the eSports world communicates with each other. So what are the other options?
1. Try to get a Dynamic IP Address
Some Internet Service Providers (ISP) will only change your IP address as they see it necessary. Talk to your ISP and tell them you need a dynamic IP that changes every time you log on.
2. VPN versus Proxy Server
If you want to continue using Skype or IRC, it will be best to get either a VPN or proxy server to protect your IP. So which is better? Proxy servers are usually cheaper but not as safe, your data is easily viewable to third parties and your IP is not as protected as you might wish. However, it will suffice if you are dealing with amateur attacks. A VPN is usually much safer but will cost you. A good service will cost around $14.99USD a month and up.
3. DDoS mitigation services
Mitigation services are likely overkill for these situations. Companies are developing hardware/software that is able to notice an attack coming in and filter the good and bad data in response. However, the price can exceed $100USD a month which is usually well out of the budget of gamers but it is still an option, especially if you are out of others.
I bring this issue up in a business column because it's very important players do everything they can to protect themselves, not just for their data or career but because the scene's survival may well depend on it. Tournament organizers will quit holding tournaments online if this continues because it will not be worth the headache. Funds dry up, online tournaments go away and the rest of the scene goes with it because you need things like online qualifiers, online weekly tournaments, and online major tournaments to have a thriving professional scene.
If the League of Legends online competitive scene suffers because of DDoS, the LAN tournaments will suffer as well. Online matches are what keeps the hype going from LAN event to LAN event. Online tournaments are the lifeblood of the scene but DDoS could be threatening it all.
We would like to see no DDoS attacks on anyone, but until that day comes for your sake, and the sake of the Professional eSports scene, do everything you can to protect yourself. You just might save more than yourself!
Other Resources to fight DDoS:
Arena Junkies guide