Bungie revealed that the login problems that hit Destiny 2 players over the weekend were actually due to a DDoS attack that slowed down the service.
Any online service can fall victim to a DDoS attack, and the bigger the service, the greater the impact. Online gaming is particularly vulnerable as it usually involves many players, and the effect can be substantial. Moreover, attackers have access to dedicated DDoS-for-hire services that advertise themselves as being capable of hitting gaming companies and their online products.
Bungie and companies in the gaming industry rarely acknowledge DDoS attacks for a very simple reason. They don't want to reveal to criminals that their attack had any kind of success. Unfortunately, in the case of Destiny 2, the DDoS attack came right after a major update, and the community was quick to blame the patch and the developers for the outage.
"Over the past couple of days, we've seen a spike in error codes and disconnects," explained the developers on social media. "The team has confirmed that these error codes are not related to the planned fixes rolling out for the recent crafting issue and are instead a result of DDoS attacks."
"While we typically don't confirm these types of attacks and do not plan to in the future for general game security reasons, we believe it's the right thing to do for our players to communicate the added pressure to our systems given recent circumstances," Bungie added.
Destiny 2 players had problems logging in or even staying connected to servers over the weekend, and the issues worsened on Monday and Tuesday. The attack either stopped or was mitigated, but online services have returned to normal.