Through a series of DDoS attacks on the servers of the game Pokemon Go, Poodlecorp has threatened to take the uber popular augmented reality game down on August 1, 2016.
They have planned to take the servers down for about a day. The game servers are recovering from an attack on 16th July 2016. The group OurMine claimed responsibility for the assault. According to an article in The Economist explains, they had used the same technique that Poodlecorp has threatened to use i.e. DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service).
How will they attack?
The DDoS attack technique concept is simple; they bombard the servers running the game with traffic to the extent that no genuine traffic can get through.
It works in a similar way as a person who prevents calls from arriving at a particular phone by constantly dialing and redialing the phone. But since servers are configured to ignore recurrent requests from the same remote computer, the attackers use ‘botnets’.
Botnets are computers infected with malicious software, called zombies. The malicious software allows the zombies to be controlled remotely without your knowledge as the owner. The attacker will then use these computers that may be in hundreds of thousands, to bury the Pokémon Go servers with a blizzard of traffic.
Why is Poodlecorp carrying out the attack?
In a recent interview with DramaAlert.com, one of the Poodlecorp group members claim they do it because "chaos is entertainment. We like to piss people off because we can."
They also claim that the reason why Pokémon Go is the target is that it is popular. From this, we can see that Poodlecorp’s motive is simply notoriety. Probably, they also want to make a name for themselves through this digital vandalism.
How do you know whether your computer is part of a botnet?
That is a pretty tricky question. It unfortunately completely depends on what type of malware your computer is compromised with. If you recognize slow internet connection or frequent connection drops, that might always be an indicator. Also be cautious if people tell you that they received weird spammy-looking emails or instant messenger messages from you.
What should you do if your computer is being used as a zombie?
The best is always to completely reinstall your computer from scratch. If that is only the last option, make sure you have the latest updates and patches installed. Check if your virus scanner is using the latest version and is still running. If your virus scanner can detect a malware, check if there is a specific removal tool available to clean things up. If nothing works, reinstall!
How can I protect myself to not become a zombie?
- The primary step is to have an antivirus and a software firewall. The antivirus and firewall provide the first line protection against casual IP detection and Trojan virus infection.
- Make sure you run the latest version of your Operating System and keep it up to date.
- Don't open emails that look suspicious.
- Don't download and install software that you do not know.
- Don't surf and click around on websites that do not look legitimate.
If you want to report network abuse directly to network owners and service providers, you can use the Abuse Contact Database (DB). This allows you to look up abuse contact email addresses from which abusive content was sent by searching for an IP address.
If you are an Internet Service Provider or Hosting Company and are receiving abuse notification emails, Abusix has products such as AbuseHQ and Threat Intelligence Data Streams that illuminate zombies in your network so you can solve the issues before they become a problem.