Having been subject to a DDoS attack in December of 2014, the Winning Poker Network has been attacked again. According to reports, the network was hit on the 13th of September as they prepare to host a Million Dollar Sunday tournament. There are a total of five Million Dollar Sunday events scheduled for the fall and this attack could affect the turnout for the next four events.
During the event, players have the opportunity to compete for a minimum of $200,000 to the winner and a total of $1 million in the prize pool. The event on the 13th was ruined by the DDoS attack as the individuals responsible flooded the system with communication requests causing gaming tables to freeze and players suffered from timeouts. The event back in December had to be canceled due to the DDoS attacks and now the network has been affected yet again.
Based on information via Twitch with Phil Nagy, the CEO of the WPN speaking, the beginning of the September 13th tournament saw a pause in game play for five minutes. The event then resumed and extortion messages began to pop up. These messages stated that WPN was to send Bitcoins to stop the attacks from happening.
Nagy said the payment was not going to happen. He did not want to pay the terrorists to stop, stating the extortion was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard. Nagy continued further, stating that it is possible for players to experience pauses during game play but the technical staff was monitoring the situation and was trying to make sure the event ran smoothly.
It was the pauses in game play and connectivity problems that caused players to stay away from the event and he knew a significant overlay would take place. The tournament was not going to be cancelled, despite having cancelled the event in December. This time, the attack was different, as the staff of the WPN were able to keep the event under control.
Once the event began, only 1,549 players competed, which created a total prize pool of $775,500. This meant that the WPN would have to pay $224,500 in overlay.