Attack disrupts access to Steam and Origin game services


— 9:27 AM on January 3, 2014

Online distribution systems have made video games much more convenient to purchase. However, they also create an external target for malicious folks to attack. Overnight, EA's Origin and Valve's Steam services appear to have come under fire. As Kotaku reports, a handful of Twitter users claim to have hammered the gaming services with separate denial-of-service attacks. The site says that connectivity to both services was spotty last night, and several commenters echo those sentiments.

This morning, the Steam website is still inaccessible for me. So is the store section of the Windows and Android clients. My game library seems to be fine, though. I've been able to launch a couple of games without issue. Bruno, our resident programming wizard, can get to the Steam store on both his PC and his smartphone. He's across the pond in Europe, suggesting that any lingering problems may be limited to North America.

Origin seems to be completely back to normal. The website is accessible, and the client software is working properly. I don't actually have any Origin games installed right now, but Battlefield 4 multiplayer servers seem to be occupied. Access to those servers was apparently compromised during the attack.

Last night's interruptions may not be the last. One of the Twitter users who claimed responsibility for the Valve attack is promising "Steam v2 tomorrow." There's no mention of whether Origin will be in the crosshairs again. However, the group responsible for hitting EA's services was reportedly behind an attack on League of Legends earlier this week.

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