More than a decade after its original release, Minecraft continues to be massive — so massive that it apparently has the power to take down an entire country’s internet.
Last weekend, a major Minecraft tournament endured a cyberattack significant enough to disrupt the internet in Andorra, a small country in Europe bordered by France and Spain. The population only numbers around 77,000, roughly the capacity of an NFL football stadium.
NetBlocks, an internet outage tracker, says the disruption was caused by a cyberattack targeting the Minecraft competition, which led directly to the elimination of Team Andorra. The competition featured 150 contestants competing in events from Squid Game, including well-known streamers.
ℹ️ Confirmed: Internet disruption registered on #Andorra Telecom (AS6752) on Saturday evening; the incident is attributed by the state telco to a DDoS attack targeting the high-stakes #SquidCraftGames Minecraft Twitch competition, resulting in the elimination of Team Andorra 📉📈 pic.twitter.com/RCsJu2DYpH
— NetBlocks (@netblocks) January 23, 2022
As you can see in the spike, connection briefly dropped from 100% down to below 50% at the time of the outage. A DDoS attack, or distributed denial-of-service attack, is an attempt to overwhelm an internet service with an overflow of traffic, causing mass network issues and disconnections.
While the attackers are unknown, Andorra Telecom tweeted that the attackers were trying to harm YouTubers, so apparently this was a targeted attack to take Team Andorra out of the Minecraft Squid Game sweepstakes. Much like the show itself, it seems competitors and viewers used any means necessary to take people out of the game.
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Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.