Bitcoin poker site, Seals with Clubs, was twice targeted by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack this weekend – forcing it offline for three days.
It is not known why the US-facing poker site was targeted for the DDoS attacks – in which multiple computer systems overload a single web site with incoming traffic – or who was responsible. The first attack started on Thursday evening (local time) when the site became inaccessible to regular players while those who were already logged in found that their games stalled and then the site crashed.
Seal with Clubs´ CEO Bryan Micon was quick to re-assure players on the site that no accounts had been compromised and the Seals with Clubs Twitter account kept clients up to date with the progress of “Seal Team 6” as the site battled to get the software transferred to a new data centre. However, shortly after getting up and running on Sunday, Seals with Clubs was hit by a second, smaller DDoS attack which knocked out all the Sunday feature tournaments on the site.
Protection Implemented Against Further Attacks
[The first attack] was a large DDoS, very sophisticated and quite powerful enough to knock everything off, get an IP blackholed, all that good stuff, Micon said in a statement to PokerFuse.com.
We have quickly, in the middle of the weekend, changed datacenters and have a new, beefier setup with all of our data intact and a sick DDoS protection layer.
New software has also been integrated into the Seals with Clubs downloadable client to add further protection, and players have been advised that they will have to update their existing software to enable them to play on Seals with Clubs. An update to the Seals with Clubs Android App is also expected later today (Monday).
The Seals are Back
By late Sunday evening, Seals with Clubs was back online and saw more than 300 players on the cash game tables with several low-value tournaments under way. Due to the change of data centres, players who recently deposited into their accounts may have to wait until Monday to see the funds appear in the cashier; however facilities for getting Bitcoin funds out of players´ accounts are operating normally with withdrawal requests dealt with in a matter of hours.
Players who were involved in poker tournaments at the time of the DDoS attack have been told that they will receive “generous refunds” in respect of their tournament buy-ins.