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Wikipedia and World of Warcraft Classic targeted by DDoS attacks

Imagine a world without Wikipedia. Do you even remember what it was like when you had to use your memory to recall the order of James Bond films, guess how old Tina Turner is, or try to say with any certainty with what country France has its longest land border?

Now many of us don’t feel it’s so essential to amass general knowledge, as Wikipedia is always at our fingertips to tell us what year Queen released Bohemian Rhapsody.

So you can imagine the pain that was caused to pub quiz cheats and students writing essays this weekend when crowd-sourced internet encyclopedia Wikipedia, one of the world’s most popular websites, was hit by a distributed denial-of-service attack.

According to the Wikimedia Foundation, nonprofit charitable organization behind Wikipedia, the site was hit with a malicious attack that made the site inaccessible from several countries for intermittent periods.

Many of the reports of users unable to access Wikipedia came from Europe.

The Wikimedia Foundation condemned the attack, saying it threatened “everyone’s fundamental rights to freely access and share information.”

And Wikipedia wasn’t the only high-profile victim of a DDoS attack this weekend.

Players of World of Warcraft Classic found they had difficulties connecting to the game’s servers after they too were impacted by a DDoS attack.

Blizzard, the makers of World of Warcraft, confirmed on Twitter that its systems had been impact by a series of DDoS attacks.

Interestingly, a Twitter account calling itself “UkDrillas” claimed responsibility for both the attack against Wikipedia and World of Warcraft Classic through a series of tweets.

One individual alleged to be a member of UkDrillas, based in the UK, was doxxed by angry gamers who clearly didn’t appreciate having their World of Warcraft fix taken away from them.

With such a high profile target it’s hard to imagine that law enforcement agencies are not already investigating. If that’s the case, the least the members of UkDrillas will have to worry about is grumpy gamers coming after them.

World of Warcraft is no stranger to being the target of DDoS attacks from rival gamers. Last year, a 38-year-old Romanian man was sentenced to one year in a US federal prison and ordered to pay $29,987 in restitution to Blizzard Entertainment after launching a denial-of-service attack against World of Warcraft’s European servers.

The UKDrillas account which bragged about the most recent attacks on Wikipedia and World of Warcraft has now been suspended by Twitter.

About the author

Graham CLULEY

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, researcher and public speaker. He has been working in the computer security industry since the early 1990s, having been employed by companies such as Sophos, McAfee and Dr Solomon's. He has given talks about computer security for some of the world's largest companies, worked with law enforcement agencies on investigations into hacking groups, and regularly appears on TV and radio explaining computer security threats.

Graham Cluley was inducted into the InfoSecurity Europe Hall of Fame in 2011, and was given an honorary mention in the "10 Greatest Britons in IT History" for his contribution as a leading authority in internet security.

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