Wednesday, December 13, 2017

"How a Dorm Room Minecraft Scam Brought Down the Internet"

Wired:

As Peterson and Klein explored the Minecraft economy, interviewing server hosts and reviewing financial records, they came to realize how amazingly financially successful a well-run, popular Minecraft server could be. “I went into my boss’s office and said, ‘Am I crazy? It looks like people are making a ton of money,’” he recalls. “These people at the peak of summer were making $100,000 a month.”

The huge income from successful servers had also spawned a mini cottage industry of launching DDoS attacks on competitors’ servers, in an attempt to woo away players frustrated at a slow connection.

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“Mirai was originally developed to help them corner the Minecraft market, but then they realized what a powerful tool they built,” Walton says. “Then it just became a challenge for them to make it as large as possible.”