Potential DDOS Attacks Uncovered at Merge

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Over the past few days, online poker players have alleged that the Merge Gaming Network is experiencing issues with a network attack or possibly cheating.

On the forums at Two Plus Two, the subject has given birth to a rather extensive thread dedicated to the issues that Merge is having. Poster FoldzNeverpointed out on Sunday how the Merge software had been “disconnecting” when in use, in particular when a player with the moniker l4ss3m4jj4nwas in an advantageous position.

“At first it was in SNGs and a PLO game, but now he has taken a turn in the $125,000 Sunday Major,” FoldzNever observed. “I myself have personally watched him build pots no less than 10 times and, on the turn and river, either min-raise or donk-bet for the software to DC (disconnect).”

Other posters were quick to provide video evidence of such actions and confirm it was happening while said player was in several pots. It also brought out other issues that have besieged Merge’s software.

Poster norfair18named several instances where it seems there was a deliberate denial of service (DDOS) on Merge. In particular, norfair18 cited DDOS attacks during the $215 Big Ticket and $530 Main Event tournaments on the site, players logging into other players’ accounts through a “bug” in the system, and similar attacks as cited by FoldzNever. “Other sites are experiencing similar issues, but obviously Merge is the weakest link,” norfair18 concluded.

Some pointed out that by issuing the DDOS attack, the player in question would also knock himself out of the software, but others were quick to point out that this is the desired effect. By being the last person with action, others involved in a hand would be folded out and the player would pick up a huge pot without having to show down.

The reasons for the DDOS attacks can vary. With an online poker site, DDOS attacks can, as cited above, cause pots to be pushed to a player who, if they are allegedly causing the DDOS attack, wouldn’t have otherwise won. The DDOS attacks can also open gateways towards sensitive credit card information, personal data, and other important bits. As of May 2014, eWeek.com estimated that there are approximately 28 DDOS attacks every hour during the day. Read about DDOS attacks.

DDOS attacks have allegedly been occurring for quite some time on other gaming networks, both poker and otherwise. Allegedly, PokerStars was hit with such an attack recently, as have Full Tilt Poker, the iPoker Network, and the Winning Poker Network. For the past few weeks, mainstream gaming systems such as the XBox Network and the PlayStation Network have also fallen victim to such attacks.

At this time, there is no information on whether the alleged perpetrator of the DDOS attacks has been caught and/or punished. The Merge Gaming Network also has not made any statements regarding the incidents.

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Yep, definitely went down and I told everybody at table it was going down 45 mins – hour b4 carbon shut down the tourneys.. There are copys of chat transcripts with a site that will remain nameless acknowledging the attacks too.. Try playing a sunday major with only option to fold or shove.. still waiting to be reimbursed by carbon.. not holding my breath

    • it is totaly up side down,since o.s.s has beginevery day i start my sesions and every day everthing is blocked etc..and they have solution when there was 30ish us left all itm 2 chop the money on even parts witch is also kind ridiculosei only hope that main event will play,and that wpn will resolve all their problems with software

    • HI, just to point out that I too have suffered through ddos attacks, and malware and virus issues ,let me explain what is the issue though please.
      I say this because the sites have brand monitoring protection servers that are helping the company’s combat this type of abuse, HOWEVER ,residential networks and customers DONT have these such resources so therefore it’s near on impossible to stay clear of any type of on going attack ,yes agreeable they would have to know our IP address and data ,but let’s face it how many sites have forwarded on this data to third party’s in the past ? How much does windows Microsoft actually do to combat. Such attacks ?I know lenghthy targets are still ongoing but surely culprits are easily caught ? Unless of course they spoof the addresses.
      I have had my own personal issues and from what I believe is that it could well be an employee within Microsoft in the London area abusing these attacks and causing the problems. Somewhere around gchq or actually Westminster great hall in central London.

      My only question is why doesn’t microsoft do more to eradicate viruses and malware on systems and give more protection to the consumer other than cheap non working anti-virus products and anti-spyware programs that simpy are not good enough .trust me I have used them all and I still would only recommend malware bytes . Every anti-virus software can be targeted and gotten into ‘bypassed’ .

      I’m just throwing in what I believe is some serious issues with windows operating systems and Microsoft in general since windows operating systems is not for playing online poker on these days.
      Regards aaron

    • i couldn’t believe what I was seeing. And it has had a huge effect on traffic. The cash number have been halved since Sunday with no end in sight.

    • AJ I live chatted with carbon and explained what happened and they reimbursed me. I got blinded out of 60% of my stack by being frozen.

    • Hey High_Suit,

      That’s one of the problems of the DDOS attacks is they, for the most part, cannot be combatted. Usually such attacks are completely out of the blue, there’s no forewarning and just as quick as it occurs it will stop. Since there are many methods to conducting a DDOS attack, companies are left trying to defend with the best they have. For some companies it is adequate but for others it isn’t nearly good enough.

      EB

    • distributed denial of service….had to look it up, was not furnished in the article…

      I dont think any of this occurred…I think thier hardware sucks giraffe balls and cant handle business..

      remember? canadian indians? “its aboot time to fish tru da ice ey?”

      If they had the proper goods, thier firewall would stop these silly bugs…China hits my familys buisness network 200 times a day with hack attempts, 60 for russia, maybe 10 from USA…

      Never been a problem, external firewall (SONICWALL) handles all of it just fine..we had em set to delete self destruct if anything came in with a executable .EXE file….eeezy breezy

    • distributed denial of service….had to look it up, was not furnished in the article…

      I dont think any of this occurred…I think thier hardware sucks giraffe balls and cant handle business..

      remember? canadian indians? “its aboot time to fish tru da ice ey?”

      If they had the proper goods, thier firewall would stop these silly bugs…China hits my familys buisness network 200 times a day with hack attempts, 60 for russia, maybe 10 from USA…

      Never been a problem, external firewall (SONICWALL) handles all of it just fine..we had em set to delete self destruct if anything came in with a executable .EXE file….eeezy breezy

      Carbon acknowledged it happened so there’s that

    • I swear I believe the same thing happened on Bovada for their special $400K guaranteed tournament. I emailed support and got the standard canned response that you would expect. I had 3x the average stack with about 60 players left and repeatedly lost pots to the same player when I was in large pots – every single time it was the same player and every time I started experiencing disconnect issues – when I clearly had none with any other website or for that matter any other time playing on Bovada. Absolutely had multiple pots with the same player where I lost large parts of my stack after making a large bet and then this player shoved and I became unexplainably disconnected – thus folding with tons of chips already committed but then disconnected and mucked. Now I know…

    • Lack of options.

      well ya , options in US obv suck, these sites have turned into a shit show obviously, only option doesnt mean its a good option, they have been on the decline for some time now and are just going to get worse…..
      best of the top 3 in US seems to be bovada, but sounds like they have their own issues as well, shitty deal we are left with for sure
      if people are still crushing regardless of the circus, then by all means do what ya gotta do

    • well ya , options in US obv suck, these sites have turned into a shit show obviously, only option doesnt mean its a good option, they have been on the decline for some time now and are just going to get worse…..
      best of the top 3 in US seems to be bovada, but sounds like they have their own issues as well, shitty deal we are left with for sure
      if people are still crushing regardless of the circus, then by all means do what ya gotta do

      same guy did the same thing to pokerstars so it happens

    • I only play micro games but i noticed that even 888 poker was disconnecting so many times that they e-mailed me and said they where aware of the problems and would rectify it but never said what caused it, now i know and i have experienced this on FTP also, what a mess if this is happening at the better sites as well as the smaller ones.

    • I swear I believe the same thing happened on Bovada for their special $400K guaranteed tournament. I emailed support and got the standard canned response that you would expect. I had 3x the average stack with about 60 players left and repeatedly lost pots to the same player when I was in large pots – every single time it was the same player and every time I started experiencing disconnect issues – when I clearly had none with any other website or for that matter any other time playing on Bovada. Absolutely had multiple pots with the same player where I lost large parts of my stack after making a large bet and then this player shoved and I became unexplainably disconnected – thus folding with tons of chips already committed but then disconnected and mucked. Now I know…

      Yeah and this particular player was called out hours before they disconnected.. There were hundreds of railbirds watching him closely and his actions only led further credence. Ironically enough when I notified others of table he sat out and didn’t play again until he was moved to another table

    • People, this is so fkd up.

      & exactly why every forum gets a million “where do we play” threads.
      Answer, you don’t.

    • People, this is so fkd up.

      & exactly why every forum gets a million “where do we play” threads.
      Answer, you don’t.

      +1

    • It seems that the only good site at defending against these attacks is the “Winning Poker Network,” because of the fact that all action gets paused until the attack is over. As oppose to the other few sites, where no one knows what’s going on….either way, it’s a fkin shit show. ughh