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Cyberattacked site offers $13K hacker reward

Wurm Online, a massive multiplayer online role-playing game, has been down since a DDoS attack on Tuesday.

A Wurm Online scene.
Screenshot by CNET

Gaming site Wurm, a recent victim of a cyberattack, has placed a bounty on hackers.

On Tuesday, Wurm operators said that the massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), Wurm Online, was the target of a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). Denial of service attacks are a common form of cyberthreat that involve large numbers of PCs infected with malware -- which then become slaves to a command center that directs them to flood a target with so much traffic servers cannot handle it, causing a site to crash under the strain.

As a result of the attack, Wurm services had to be pulled off the grid, the game operator was knocked offline, and a new hosting provider is supporting the game operator. Wurm co-creator Rolf Janssonon wrote in a blog post earlier this week:

"Shortly after today's update we were the target of a DDoS attack and our hosting provider had to pull us off the grid for now. We will be back as soon as possible but things are out of our hands since their other customers are affected. As we wrote in a previous news post we are planning on changing hosting anyways which should improve things for the future. We can offer 10,000 euro for any tips or evidence leading to a conviction of the person responsible for this attack."

The game, built by Swedish firm Code Club AB, was still down at the time of writing, but operators say the game has been frozen in time at the point just before the traffic swamp crashed servers, and so gamers will not have lost any progress when Wurm is restored.

The attack has naturally left gamers steamed. In a forum post titled "Dear DDOS Attacker," fans of the MMORPG are baying for blood.

The 10,000 euro reward, which equates to $13,000, is an unusual solution to the problem. While Wurm developers are configuring the new servers and improvements are "looking good," there is no ETA on relaunch at the moment. It will be interesting to see if the bounty yields results.

This story originally posted as "Cyberattack victim gaming website offers $13,000 to bring hackers to justice" on ZDNet.