Your Portable Denial-of-Service Launcher

Garrett M. Graff has this article for Wired about the Mirai botnet denial-of-service attack, saying that it was powered by angry Minecraft server operators and players:

As the 2016 US presidential election drew near, fears began to mount that the so-called Mirai botnet might be the work of a nation-state practicing for an attack that would cripple the country as voters went to the polls. The truth, as made clear in that Alaskan courtroom Friday—and unsealed by the Justice Department on Wednesday—was even stranger: The brains behind Mirai were a 21-year-old Rutgers college student from suburban New Jersey and his two college-age friends from outside Pittsburgh and New Orleans. All three—Paras Jha, Josiah White, and Dalton Norman, respectively—admitted their role in creating and launching Mirai into the world.

Originally, prosecutors say, the defendants hadn’t intended to bring down the internet—they had been trying to gain an advantage in the computer game Minecraft.

[…]

VDOS was an advanced botnet: a network of malware-infected, zombie devices that its masters could commandeer to execute DDoS attacks at will. And the teens were using it to run a lucrative version of a then-common scheme in the online gaming world—a so-called booter service, geared toward helping individual gamers attack an opponent while fighting head-to-head, knocking them offline to defeat them. Its tens of thousands of customers could pay small amounts, like $5 to $50, to rent small-scale denial-of-service attacks via an easy-to-use web interface.

A similar service was used to attack the ioquake3 master server in the past. It was surprisingly easy for it to be launched on an ongoing basis.

Tremulous Sold to Microsoft

Following the recent turmoil over Nexuiz, Microsoft has tipped their hat and purchased Tremulous for the XBOX. As is to be expected, various Tremulous forks have already appeared in the wake of this terrible news.

The first out of the gate, Liberelous, has made their stance on things clear:

We would like to formally announce the arrival of Librelous — A free (GPL), fast-paced first-person / Real time strategy hybrid that works on Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. Librelous is a direct successor of the Tremulous Project.

Librelous came about in the wake of recent troublesome changes to the Tremulous project, changes that have left many of the core contributors and community members feeling that the project has been mishandled. As a result, we felt the need to organize a departure to start with a clean slate.

Librelous will place focus on the things we love about Tremulous, and extend our goals to become the game that many thought Tremulous 1.2 should have been.

While technically being a direct successor of Tremulous, the Librelous project is a rethink of the Tremulous project that recognizes the community around it as its principal driving force and will restructure itself to respect that. This means that there will never be a single person with total control over the project.

TimeDoctor Dot Org is seeking an exclusive interview with Librelous team lead, Khalsa.