It’s no secret that the gaming industry has grown tremendously over the last decade.
Over the last 36 months, the Xbox Live community has grown at a rate of 30% year on year.
Plus, you can now see esports being played live on ESPN, with the winners raking in millions (yes, millions) of dollars.
But in the ever-expanding landscape of online gaming, gamers are increasingly at risk for cyberattacks.
In the course of this article, we’ll take a closer look at a common internet attack Xbox Live users have been experiencing lately: a DDOS attack.
Here’s a quick snapshot of what will be covered:
- The definition of a DDOS attack
- How DDOS attacks work (the process)
- Troubleshoot and prevent DDOS attacks.
What is a DDOS attack?
Let’s start with the simplest question we can ask.
What is a DDOS attack?
A DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack is a type of attack that aims to temporarily disable your website, network, IP address, or service.
The majority of victims of a DDOS attack claim that hackers targeted them to blackmail them into paying ransoms in cryptocurrency or simply to divert their attention from the attack while hackers installed malicious software and/or stole data.
As for Xbox users, DDOS attacks can also be used by cybercriminals to disrupt your internet service for up to 24 hours.
Many Xbox players say that the DDOS attacks are carried out as retaliation by other gamers, simply as a threat.
That’s why it’s important for Xbox gamers to know how these attacks happen and how to prevent angry gamers or cybercriminals from disrupting their service.
How DDOS attacks are ruining your Xbox gaming experience
What exactly happens to gamers when a DDOS attack occurs?
A DDOS attack effectively blocks you from connecting to your server, making it impossible to access Xbox Live.
The most infamous of the DDOS attacks on Xbox were made by the Lizard Squad.
The Lizard Squad was a black-hat group of cybercriminals who threatened attacks across multiple gaming platforms, affecting multiple Xbox players in December 2014.
In 2016, two of the four members were arrested as participants in a “DDOS for hire” scheme.
How do DDOS attacks work?
To understand how to prevent attacks and make your Xbox experience as seamless as possible, you first need to understand how a DDOS attack works.
In most cases, DDOS attacks are carried out using multiple computers.
Hackers compromise these computers and use them to attack websites, servers, or certain services.
What a DDOS attack does is send an overload of traffic to your server, rendering it useless.
A few terms you should know before continuing:
- Bot: an autonomous programme that can communicate with users and systems. For the purposes of this article, a bot is a device that has been infected with malware, allowing it to be monitored and used by cybercriminals to perform or threaten DDOS attacks.
- Botnet: A botnet is a group of bots used by hackers to cause traffic overload on your server.
- Script Kiddie: A novice hacker who is not particularly strong at coding
Once the cybercriminal has successfully set up a botnet, they can send requests to any bot to send an overload of information to your IP address.
The scary thing is that the use of botnets is only getting more popular.
Even script kiddies have access to a rental botnet.
The easy access allows an attacker with little or no hacking experience to efficiently launch DDOS attacks.
So what happens during a DoS attack?
Once the information is sent to the attacked IP address, your network is confused between what is considered normal traffic and what is considered malicious bot network traffic.
All because, technically, all internet traffic has to come from legitimate devices.
This overwhelms your system and causes it to shut down temporarily.
However, it’s important to note that these attacks often get messy and don’t last long.
This fends off many malicious hackers who want to monetize denial-of-service attacks.
But you still need to make sure you have proper security practises in place.
What to do if your Xbox gets a DDOS attack
When you lose online multiplayer accessibility, don’t automatically assume you’re under attack.
Evidence of a DDOS attack usually takes some digging to find.
The first diagnostic method is one we’ve all heard before, even from the least tech-savvy person in your family: turn off the router.
You should do this for at least 10 he router. Y
Because when your router is turned off, a botnet cannot continue sending network traffic to your IP address, eliminating the threat.
The next method you can try is communicating with your ISP (Internet Service Provider).
An ISP can make it easy for you to find the source of the attack by using blackholing, scrubbing, traffic engineering, and local filtering, but that’s a story for another day.
The final way to troubleshoot your gaming platform is simply to contact the Microsoft Xbox support team.
It’s even better if you know the gamertag of the person performing the DOS attack.
You can report a user by pressing the Xbox button to find recent players, clicking on their profile, “Reporting,” and then selecting “Tampering.”
A comment box appears, where you can fill in the box and block the user.
How to Prevent DDOS Attacks on Xbox Now it’s time to discuss what you came here for.
Below, we have outlined some ways to strengthen your network security to stop DDOS attacks on your Xbox gaming platform.
A denial of service attack is a very dangerous thing for businesses to deal with, but honestly, when it comes to an Xbox DOS attack, hackers are more likely to target many members of the gaming community or the server itself than an individual gamer.
Their leverage increases if they can shut down a large portion of the system as opposed to a select few players.
There’s not much you can do if an attacker hacks into the Microsoft system itself.
A multi-vector attack is more complex to solve. Fortunately, the average gamer doesn’t have to worry about that.
You’ll just have to wait it out, which usually doesn’t take long to resolve.
But here are some precautions you may want to take to protect your Xbox from DDOS attacks.
1) Refresh the Xbox privacy settings.
The first thing you need to do to protect yourself from DDOS is to make sure you’ve updated your Xbox privacy settings. To do this:
1) Go to your gamertag; 2) Select “More options”; 3) Then go to “Xbox Settings”; 4) Click on “Privacy and online safety.”
From there, you can search for the options you want to change.
You should always try to keep your user profile in private mode.
In this way, you can rest assured that a minimal amount of your personal information is available on the platform to the entire gaming community.
Also, basic things like making sure your password is strong should be implemented for a smooth gaming experience.
2) Start using antivirus and firewall software.
As always, make sure you have antivirus and firewall software installed to combat network and device threats.
Neutralizing network security threats is the most important element in defending against DDOS attacks.
It sounds simple, but many people let their protective equipment expire and forget to renew it.
This makes a hacker’s job a lot easier.
Cloud-based solutions are a good way to customise your virus protection against distributed denial-of-service attacks.
Most standard network security providers only offer a limited capacity to handle DDOS attacks.
But with a cloud solution, additional layers of security are added, which is useful for detecting network changes caused by DDOS violations.
3) Use a VPN
Another way to stop a DDOS attacker is to hide your location.
DDOS hackers need a target to attack.
Many game nerds know that some games require a local VPN to play.
But you can also use a VPN to fend off a DDOS attacker by spoofing your IP location.
This makes it more difficult for hackers to locate you.
Many VPN services, like SwitchVPN, provide thousands of IP addresses to rule out the possibility of a DDOS attack.
All you need to do is get an IP address from another country, and you can easily limit the chances of such a cyberattack.
We hope we have answered all your questions about preventing DDOS attacks on your Microsoft Xbox platform.
Now you can rest and game with peace of mind and don’t have to worry about a botnet ruining your gaming experience or hackers hacking into your network or apps and stealing your valuable data.
Whether you use a PC or game console, you don’t have to worry about your IP address being hacked or your PC being infected.
That’s why we wrote this article to show you the best security practises for your network to prevent IP attacks.
In conclusion, here are the points you can take away from this article:
- A DDOS attack on your Xbox aims to overload your IP address and temporarily shut it down, preventing you from establishing an internet connection to Xbox Live.
- Cyber criminals use a botnet to interrupt your network’s internet services.
- Disabling your Internet router prevents botnets from sending information to your IP address.
- Communicating with your ISP is an important way to find the intruder.
- You can contact Microsoft’s support team to report hackers.
- It is better to keep your profile in private mode.
- You can spoof your IP address with a VPN to hide your location from hackers and protect yourself against DoS attacks once and for all. Stay protected!