Large swathes of Battle.net users watched their gaming plans swiftly dissipate as Blizzard fell victim to a massive DDoS attack on Sunday evening. The attack targeted network providers, causing widespread connectivity and lag issues across servers for multiple games, most notably Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm.
Blizzard first reported the server connectivity issues on the company’s customer service Twitter account shortly before 9 PM PT Sunday night. The issues were confirmed as a result of a DDoS attack two hours later. Overwatch lead software engineer Bill Warnecke also confirmed the attack on Reddit. The attack ended around 4 AM PT Monday morning, but players have continued to have issues logging into Blizzard servers for most of the day. Blizzard stated Monday afternoon they are investigating issues affecting their authentication servers due to the continuing login issues.
During the attack, Heroes of the Storm players reported latency issues that made the game near unplayable while thousands of Overwatch players were booted from matches and were unable to join new matches. Many of the booted players lodged complaints with Blizzard because of their competitive Skill Rating being negatively affected due to involuntarily leaving a match prematurely. It appears those issues will not be resolved as Blizzard penalizes all game disconnections equally.
Unfortunately, Blizzard isn’t a stranger to these kinds of attacks. The company was struck by a series of DDoS attacks in 2016 that rendered multiple titles, including Overwatch, unplayable. That attack was largely regarded as a retaliatory measure against Blizzard’s increased efforts to ban Overwatch players caught cheating.
No one has claimed responsibility for this most recent DDoS attack nor has a motive for the action been revealed.