Ubisoft undone by anti-DRM DDoS storm

Protests over anti-piracy controls hobble games firm


Ubisoft has confirmed its rights management servers were hit by a fierce DDoS attack over the weekend that left some customers unable to play its games for much of Sunday.

The attack is an apparent protest at controversial new DRM controls by the video game publisher which mean customers have to be online in order to play its latest PC games such as Assassin's Creed II and Silent Hunter 5.

The introduction of so-called Online Services Platform technology last month means it's impossible to play a game without an internet connection or save progress while playing a game if an internet connection is lost, as explained in a interview with Ubisoft by PC Gamer here.

The controls, designed to combat piracy, have sparked much negative comment in the gamer community and apparently inspired action by hacktivists over the weekend that curtailed gameplay for some.

"Apologies to anyone who couldn't play ACII or SH5 yesterday," Ubisoft said in a post. to its official Twitter account on Monday. "Servers were attacked which limited service from 2:30pm to 9pm Paris time."

"95 per cent of players were not affected, but a small group of players attempting to open a game session did receive denial of service errors," it added in a later update.

Meanwhile Ubisoft's much criticised controls have been broken by software hackers. A hacker group called Skid-Row managed to bypass DRM restrictions on Silent Hunter 5 less than 24 hours after the game was published. Skid Row has releasing a crack for the game based on this work, Zdnet reports. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading
  • Big Tech loves talking up privacy – while trying to kill privacy legislation
    Study claims Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft work to derail data rules

    Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft often support privacy in public statements, but behind the scenes they've been working through some common organizations to weaken or kill privacy legislation in US states.

    That's according to a report this week from news non-profit The Markup, which said the corporations hire lobbyists from the same few groups and law firms to defang or drown state privacy bills.

    The report examined 31 states when state legislatures were considering privacy legislation and identified 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms working on behalf of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, along with industry groups like TechNet and the State Privacy and Security Coalition.

    Continue reading
  • SEC probes Musk for not properly disclosing Twitter stake
    Meanwhile, social network's board rejects resignation of one its directors

    America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. 

    A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.

    Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022