This was the DDoS cyberattack that blocked the Andorran network and sabotaged some of the best-known Spanish streamers in the middle of the tournament

Andorra trending on twitter since a few days ago. And not because of its snowy mountains. On Friday the principality went to bed with the news that the Andorra Telecom network, the company that supplies Internet to its nearly 77,200 inhabitants, had suffered a DDoS, a cyberattack that saturated its network, slowed down the service and prevented some users from browsing normally.

The incident would not have transpired were it not for the fact that the hack affected some of the most well-known Spanish-speaking influencers. At the same time, Spanish streamers residing in Andorra participated in a Twitch Rivals tournament based on the series ‘The Squid Game’. Among those in the game were faces as popular as Auronplay, Rubius The TheGrefg.

Attack in full tournament

The ones known as “Squid Games” started in the middle of the week, on Wednesday, and are played on a private Minecraft server. With an average of more than one million viewers across all broadcasts, they have achieved considerable success. Its starting dynamics are simple: 157 streamers face various tests inspired by “The Squid Game” to win a prize of 100,000 euros. One of the great strengths of the “SquidCraft Games” is its organization, in which El Rubius, Auronplay and Komanche have joined.

Without prior notice, however, late on Friday afternoon, around eight o’clock, during one of the tests, the streamers who played from Andorra stopped broadcasting on Twitch. The incident was recorded between that same time and nine o’clock, but it was necessary to wait a little longer to find out what the cause was. Minutes after ten o’clock, Andorra Telecom, the operator of the micro-state, explained that the Internet network was suffering a denial of service (DDoS) attack, and warned: “For this reason, it may some users have difficulty navigating”. Half an hour later, he tweeted again to report that the service was “stable” again.

the one on friday it was not the only attack on the principality. Yesterday at five minutes to eight in the afternoon the operator reported that its network was suffering from another DDoS, stressed that some users might encounter “difficulties” in browsing and insisted that it was doing everything possible to “mitigate” the effects. Service leveled off shortly before half past ten.

Despite the impact the attack would end up having on the running of the tournament, streamers received the DDoS with philosophy. “Hackers before: I throw the game of Call of Duty at you. hackers now: I’m going to knock down the Internet of an entire country”, El Rubius tweeted. “I mean, I understand that losing is angry, but from there to hiring a group of Russian hackers to throw the connection to those of us who are still alive… I don’t know, bro @IbaiLlanos, give us a better hug,” Grefg joked on Friday.

Auron, for example, insisted yesterday that “the games must go on” and announced his decision to retire: “There are colleagues who are not to blame, so for my part I announce my disqualification and I wish my colleagues good luck and have a great time.” “It is a pity and an injustice for us, but it is certainly the most fair for the event and the rest of the participants, which is the most important thing”, he also noted through his official Twitter profile Grefg.

Yesterday, late in the day, the Squid Game Minecraft Voices account (@LaVozdeTodo) posted on Twitter the “deletion by disconnection” of eleven players, such as elrubius, SrAuronPlay, SweetyB or Grefunado. “A stab wound hurt less”, lamented from the Grefg networks.

¿What exactly is a DDoS attack, acronym for Distributed Denia lof Service?

In short, it consists of overloading the target servers to saturate them and prevent them from working properly. Typically, they run across different network points, from which large numbers of requests are sent simultaneously. The massive flow causes the server resources to become insufficient and eventually crashes. When receiving the avalanche of traffic, unable to assume it, the server stops responding to more access requests or directly shuts down.

Andorra is not, much less, an isolated case. In the fall of 2016, for example, a similar attack on Dyn —DNS provider— had a significant impact on, among others, the service provided by Twitter, Netflix or Spotify. According to a Lumen report, throughout the third quarter of last year, cyberattacks of this type (DDoS) would have grown by around 35%.

The impact of Andorra Telecom

Given the characteristics of Andorra, a micro-state of just over 77,500 inhabitants, which determines its own telecommunications sector, the DDoS of recent days goes far beyond the attack on a simple signature. The company (Andorra Telecom, SAU), a public company, is the only internet provider of the principality, where it has a monopoly on telecommunications.

In addition to the network, it provides mobile telephony and television services —on its website it includes Movistar+ packages—. According to Netapp, its turnover is around one hundred million euros per year and it also assumes public functions, such as the broadcast of Digital Terrestrial Television, the broadband connection of the schools distributed throughout the principality or the emergency network.

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